Sunday, September 25, 2011

The Real Fun Begins

It's been 3 days since most of the team finally met in Mumbai and 2 days since the entire team finally met in Coimbatore. In Mumbai we met really nice people, including a Corporate Services Corps (CSC) alumni from IBM who works in Pune and staff from CDS, the company coordinating all the local logistics. In Coimbatore, we met even more nice people including a university professor of Social Work who looks after us to ensure we do not get ripped off by the locals.

For the CSC assignment we all stay at the same 3-star hotel. Ours is called Dejavu, which you can imagine as a typical 3-star hotel in an emerging country province where certain things work and others do not. Fortunately in my case, everything almost works, and as long as my basic needs are met (and yes, that includes Internet), I won't complain.

The food experience has been pretty good so far. In Mumbai we tried some really interesting dishes that actually were quiet good. In Coimbatore, primarily a vegetarian region, we have gained first hand experience eating with, well, our hand. The menu has included Dosas (a crepe stuffed with potatoes -- or Masala, mushrooms or some other filling) and a tray with various kinds of vegetables seasoned with spices and tortilla that you cut with a single hand and mix up with the vegetables. After finishing your meal, you then mix and eat rice with yogurt all with your hand to cool the spices down. Incredibly, the price of each meal has been about $3.00.

Finally, last evening each team split up to start planning their respective assignments and then closed the day by meeting at a local bar for a few beers. It was interesting to see that only men were present at the bar until we arrived. After having a few King Fishers (a local beer) and some interesting discussions, we finally took off to rest and get ready for meeting with our clients today. Let the real fun begin.


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