Sunday, August 30, 2009

The first few days

Welcome to Pune! The flight was shorter than expected because of a good tailwind. That still meant 6.5 hours to Brussels, a 3 hour layover, then 9 hours to Bombay. Sunset over Pakistan.

The humidity hit like a wall stepping out of the airport (it made me smile... then), and the scenery on the taxi to the hotel didn't make much sense. The hotel was basic but tidy, with an interesting view from the window!

Next morning a 25 minute flight to Pune, where I found a taxi, found a hotel, and settled in. I bought a mobile to aid me in my search for an apartment. Apparently Pune is the H1N1 capital for India; a lot of people are wearing masks here. Remind anyone of SARS in Toronto?

India made much more sense during the day. I've spent most of my time trying to acclimatize by recovering from jet lag, shopping for Indian clothing, and walking around the neighbourhood. Crossing the street means defying death - trying to drive here would be insane! The cattle seemed to have much more luck crossing the street. It's hard to tell, but it's a busy intersection.

I'm staying in Camp, Pune, about a kilometre from the train station. I have a double room with a private bathroom (they don't give single, shared-bathroom rooms to "ladies"), with a Hare Krishna temple next door. I hear devotional singing regularly, and Saturday it reminded me of a revival. Here's the view from my front door.