Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Catching up part 5

I have been meaning to get this up for a long time. It's come up in a few conversations recently so I guess it's time. I went to India in March of 2006 to train some Dell employees. These are entries from my journal while I was there. Previous posts: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4

Friday, March 10
6 am
The Charminar, Hyderabad, India

Sunrise was a bust for photos and lighting, much like the sunset the night before. We left the hotel, the same driver from last night and I, and I actually saw the most color in the sky from the car as soon as we left the hotel, about ½ hour before actual sunrise. The driver kept going slow, explaining the surroundings, in spite of my gentle urging to get to the Charminar, a prayer temple in the oldest section of the city, before the sun was actually up. “You see, sa. Sun is coming slooooooowly, sa.” Repeat. He would make a statement like that every so often, like “very old, sa. 600 years, sa,” or some trivial information like that. Then he would repeat it until I actually said, Yes or OK, not just uh-huh, or mmm-hmmmm. Then he’d say it one more time. I appreciated his enthusiasm, but got a little tired of the routine, plus I was annoyed that the weather was not cooperating with my photo ops.

The Charminar opens at dawn for prayers.

So I took a couple pics, said no to a half dozen stops he suggested on the way back to the hotel, had breakfast and went back to bed.

2 pm
The Final Run

I hooked up with a driver, the same one who had driven me around on Wednesday, and went out for one last round of souvenir hunting. Went to some more authentic shops this time - not touristy; rather where Indies go to shop, less mall like and more bazaar like. In fact one place was called Big Bazaar. Got some pearls for the girls and a shirt for my brother. Couldn’t find a t-shirt with Hindi on it. Not even one that said India. All the t-shirts with writing were in English. Not aimed at the same type of tourist shopping that I expected. Couldn’t find any postcards either. Strange. Also went to Karachi Bakery, apparently a world famous place, and got some biscuits (cookies) to take home.

So I took it easy the rest of the evening, had a snack and a Cobra Premium (it’s no Grain Belt) at the bar, got packed up and took a nap. Had one last dinner and left the hotel at 12:30 am Saturday the 11th. Got back to the states about 24 hours later around noon on Sunday the 12th.

I'd love to go back.

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