Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Rambling: India: Part the Second

I wake up in the morning - for the third time, as the unexplained drilling noises about 2am and the outbreak of barking at about 4am - and realise that my arm is laid loosely over the pile of unused pillows on the other side of the bed. There is a moment when I realise that I've subconsciously piled them on Z's side of the bed, to simulate no being alone, and suddenly everyone feels very far away, and no amount of interesting, productive work time can close that distance. But then I'm up and awake, and email and Skype are things that exist, so I can still talk to the people I love even from this side of the world.

Three days in and India is the "new normal". The Rush Hour seems to start about 7am and at time of writing - 9,30 local time - still sounds like it's going on, a cacophony of sound and motion that has to be experienced to be properly understood. I've taken some pictures this morning but they don't really convey the bustle of it. It's really something, but at least not quite as terrifying as it seemed the first time. It also helps that I'm not being totally floored by anti-malaria medicines this time, so I've got a lot more energy, and appetite. This means that I'm almost certainly eating too much at hotel, because it's really good.

As previously mentioned, Ahmedabad has changed in two years. There are more cars, more neon signs on the shops, and a general sense of "completeness"; the pavements are (mostly) finished and the bus lanes are in operation, and there a lot of adverts for new build suburbs. There is less omnipresent evidence of homelessness, although its still there, clustered along the roadside and visible in the kids trying to sell you tat at the road junctions.

According to the local newspaper this morning, 35% of homes in Gudjarat Province do not have a toilet. Things are calming down, apparently, after riots in a poorer district sparked by a police shooting over the weekend. Sobering thoughts, as you consider a city that feels on the rise.

So the routine has become; plummet through the rush hour to the office, work for 9 or 9 and a half hours and then back to the hotel for a rather nice dinner, then fire up the laptop again and condense all my notes. I'm accumulating paper and files for my desktop that will probably take another week to properly sort out. That said, it feels like we've made a lot of progress on a lot of issues, as well as just get the benefit of being in the same room as the Dev Team and thrash some stuff out. So, pretty good, all told.

Before I go, things I have seen on the road so far this week - several cows, a Camel towing a trailer, a heavily pregnant woman on a scooter, and a lone traffic guard doing his best but being largely ignored by the infinite subset of scooters. G'night folks.