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  • Writer's pictureJBCampo

Three Months in India - Part 1

In 2018, I had the opportunity to work in Pune, India for 3 months with my teammates at Dassault Systemes SolidWorks. My main goal was to spend extended time with my team to build a strong bond and experience what their dailys lives were like, both professionally and personally.

I felt that I had achieved my dream job of being an international businessman! My company supported my trip, sent me in business class, and lodged me in a nice hotel. I flew from Boston to Montreal to Zurich and then to Mumbai. I stayed overnight at the LaLit hotel at Mumbai airport and the next morning, traveled by van to Pune.

I wanted to have as much of a local experience as I could. I wanted to see what the daily life was like for my colleagues, so I ventured about as much as I could. I stayed at the Ibis Pune, a very nice medium-sized hotel located on the main road that connects Phase 1 of Hinjewadi to the new Phase 3. I was right across from WiPro circle, the main bus stop and the main employer nearby, it seemed.

On my first day, the hotel gave me a ride to the office, but that was it. After that, I decided that I would walk the mile or so each way, along this busy road with mostly viable walking paths, even some sidewalks, because I wanted to experience Pune traffic like Pune people. It was the Indian summer season there, which meant heat, extreme heat. The morning might start off at 80F/26C but usually was well over 100F/37C every day with a bright sun. I saw rain only once, for a brief time, near the end of my trip in May, Otherwise, it was dry, sunny heat. Because there was no humidity, it was blast-oven hot, like in southern Utah or the southwest USA.

I was pretty lucky though because my work campus has an outdoor swimming pool and I went swimming at least twice a week after work and before my walk home to the hotel. The water was cool and refreshing, and there were a decent number of people who swam, but no women because Indian women don't typically reveal themselves as openly as American women.

My hotel did not have a swimming pool, but they had a nice little exercise room. I used it quite a bit to lift some light weights and sometimes do treadmill walking if I could not get my 5,000 steps in outside because of the heat. I loved my hotel and the staff treated me like royalty. The Ibis Pune had just opened when I checked in. I was literally the only guest in the hotel for about the first week. I went down for breakfast and was the only one there. Same for dinner. It was quite an odd feeling, but luckily, as the hotel became more well-known, there were other guests and I did not stand out so much.

I'll talk more about my trip in my next post - stay tuned!

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