February 23, 2016

My first trip to India



I think many people go to India to find themselves. Books have been written and movies have been made about how the culture, “spirituality” and people have a way of “unlocking” things buried deep within someone. I’m actually writing this post on my way to India for the first time. I’ll be spending about a week in Mumbai for business. 

In addition to my work responsibilities, I’m also hoping to find something. To be clear, I don’t think this something is inside me. I’m looking for something about India itself. Allow me to explain.

My dad travelled to India for about a month when I was growing up (he also travelled to parts of Nepal and Japan). I was too young to get a full summary of his visit when he returned, but there was something about India that captivated him. So much so, that he made arrangements for a second visit and planned to take my mom and sister. Unfortunately, he became very ill and had to cancel their trip. He passed away before he was ever able to return. 

He also passed away before I could ask him why India was so important to him. Naturally, I’m quite curious. I’m not sure what I’m going to find, but in some odd way, I’m hoping this trip can replace I conversation I was never able to have with my dad. 

I’m not sure what it is, but I’ll let you know what I find. 

I don’t intend for this to be a “travel blog” but I figured this would be a good place to track my observations of the trip.  Here's a few notes.


Observations:

  1. Emirates is awesome. The combination of good meals (yes, plural), above par entertainment (I watched Spectre, Steve Jobs and Bridge of Spies) and practically an endless supply of snacks and warm towels (apparently airlines still do the warm towel thing) added up to a surprisingly comfortable twelve hour flight (I had a layover in Dubai). Only negative, no Wifi onboard.
  2. I've only been in India for 12 hours, so take this with a grain a salt, I was shocked to see the amount of new construction. Everywhere you turn there are cranes building skyscrapers, motels, you name it. I have to believe this is part of that "developing middle class" I've frequently heard about. See picture above. 
  3. I've already experienced world-class hospitality. I told my server at dinner that it was my first time to India. They produced this in a matter of minutes:

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