Today I’ve travelled back to Mumbai. The flight, with Jet Airways, was a little bumpy… in fact it was quite bumpy, with one of those landings where you seem to slide from left to right, but I’ve made it to my hotel in once piece. I’m in the Leela Hotel this time – a sister of the Leela in Bangalore – and whilst comfortable, it’s no where near as impressive as the Bangalore version of the chain. I was kind of looking forward to living it up like Raj for a few days, but unfortunately, it’s just another hotel (with great service mind).
My final couple of days in Bangalore were good value. Work went well & I learnt a few things which I shall be trying to emulate in the Mubmai Operation, and outside of work I met a few interesting characters. A few of us headed to the B’lore Leela for dinner on the Thursday evening. Sat & Steve (both LTSB from Brighton), Angela & I went to the Zen restaurant where we had a Japanese style meal – i.e. cooked in front of you on a hot griddle (I say Japanese, because of a Japanese restaurant I remember from my time in Newcastle Upon Tyne). We had chicken, steak and lobster!! And it was done beautifully. The conversation was varied, but Sat & I noted the hoses in the toilets… and being the mature individuals we are, spent 5-10 minutes with tears in our eyes from laughing at potential pranks & carry ons you could / should get up to.
Perhaps you had to be there.
Friday night came and Angela took me out to meet some of her new ‘ex-pat’ friends in B’lore. Funnily enough they were all Pat’s alright – Ray, Desmond & James, all from the RoI. All decent fellas, over with ‘Northern Trust’, some Financial institution with American Ownership. Through these fellas I also met Sandhya, a head-the-ball, originally from India, but who grew up in Doha. She’s agreed to show me around Bollywood when she’s up in Mumbai at the end of the month. Should be some tour!! I also got the opportunity to try Pan, some sort of wierd leaf which Indians get for after dinner chews… apparently it helps digestion (which, attempting not to share too much, I very much doubt I need at the moment). Funny sort of taste, but I could be tempted.
Saturday involved me heading into downtown B’lore to get hold of a memory card for my UK work mobile and catching a quick power nap before 10 pin bowling. The quick nap soon became a 4 hour nap & only for Angela phoning me, I’d never have made it. But make it I did, with a respectable 117 score & finishing second to Srini (who’s a bit good at the game).
And so an early morning start today to get my flight back to Mumbai, where I was met by my driver & his manager (well, why send one man, when you can send two?!) and I got myself sat up in the back seat of a brand new BMW (potentially 7 series or higher). Pity I was wearing a baseball cap & shorts… I didn’t quite ‘fit’ the scene!!
So I guess my first real day in the office tomorrow – well, hopefully Paula has vacated my office now and I can at least move in!! My office stuff has arrived from the UK, so first thing on the agenda is decorating the office!! Who says work doesn’t come without it’s stresses?!