Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘training’

What can I say about India, that I haven’t said before?

Not much!

pani-puriIt bustles. (It REALLY bustles). Although where we are based this time, out on the outskirts of the city proper, it doesn’t bustle quite as much. It still takes a brave man or woman to cross the road at most times of the day – something that seems to be achieved with ease by the locals but which fills me with dread.

It smells. There is such a variety of smells too, from the rich and sweetly scented to the downright sewery pongs of open drain networks. Now we’ve spent a little time here, I think we realise that the running water (smelly running water) is pump-out from the many building sites up and down the road. It looks like the have reached the water table in the site next to us and are pumping the water out to build foundations.

You walk in the road. Most of the pavements we have to use on our 10-15 minute walk to work either don’t exist, or might have done at one time but have fallen into disrepair. Dust is everywhere and is kicked up by the relentless turbulence of passing traffic. Along our route, there are various commercial outlets – it’s difficult to use the term ‘shops’ because whereas some ARE shops in the traditional Western sense, others are tiny (tiny!) sheds with the vendor’s goods laid out on (for example) a carpet, or hand carts piled high with all sorts of things: grapes seem to be popular just now, we’ve seen a number of carts piled high with tiny green grapes. (There’s even an unrefrigerated pork shop!).

There’s rubbish everywhere. In-between those commercial outlets, in what appears to be no-man’s-land, is rubbish. Not necessarily smelly rubbish but all kinds of other detritus. Certainly, much of the broken pavement can be found in the rubbish piles, but there’s also bits of iron, old boxes, trailing wires, bags of unspecified garbage waiting (forlornly) for pick up and, in one place, huge piles of paper. In fact, I’ve now seen, several times, a man sat tying up sheaves of papers – so I guess that the piles of paper are his and that one day a truck will come along and take it away after paying him a small pittance for collecting it. No one says that the locals are not entrepreneurial.

img_0406

I suppose all that suggests that I don’t like it here – but nothing can be further from the truth. 

This is my third visit and I’m still fascinated by India and by the Indian people. See previous posts:

I cannot comment on the countryside as I’ve not really seen any. On each visit to Bangalore we have travelled from the airport, which is miles outside the city proper, to our hotel and not really seen anything other than urbanisation and cityscape. The city is HUGE. The third largest population in India (some fact sites tell us) and it is still growing very, very quickly.

scaffoldOur hotel is surrounded by building projects.  On all sides there are cranes, banging machinery and some of the ricketiest scaffolding you’ve ever seen. From the roof terrace, there is not a direction I can look in that does not have building work going on (hence the dust).

We see workmen scrambling along the scaffolding and wonder how they don’t fall off. I suppose it’s some improvement in health and safety that they always have a clip-on harness while they do this but – who knows.

 

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

TraineesThe breakfasts here at the Adarsh Hamilton Hotel in Bangalore are to die for; and if I tried to do them any justice at all – that’s exactly what would happen to me! I’d die.

I’ve been settling for one small banana, 2 slices of brown toast, some marmalade and an idli.

Idli are a weird textured local delicacy and from last years experience, completely tasteless unless you dip them in some sort of fiery, IBS inducing sauce. However, the hotel restaurant here has provided a variety of idli each day, with an array of dips/sauces/chutneys etc. to eat them with. Yesterday, day 2, Saturday, I tried a coconut and neem leaf idli and ate it with some marmalade. Now, to purists, that will be anathema (or just plain weird) but it got me to continue experimenting with idli. Today, I had had one with peas in it and this time I risked a coriander chutney (tasty, not very hot, green) and a tomato chutney (tasty, took the enamel off my teeth, red) – and marmalade 🙂

Nevertheless, despite my renewed interest in idli, there is much more to the breakfast here than I restrict myself to. I could, if I wanted to have a freshly cooked omelette, with any of a variety of fillings. Likewise, I could choose from a wide section of (what we would call) curries with paratha, rice, dahl etc. There is unpeeled fresh fruit, peeled and prepared fresh fruit, cereals, breads – including croissants and Danish – porridge, bacon, chicken sausage, chicken salami, eggs, juices and … well, you get the picture! My younger self would have feasted here and been happy and replete. My present self is happy to eat my meagre toast and to just admire the selection of food on offer.

Yesterday was our first full day working with the new trainees. Although only five turned up, they were a complete delight and, working with Alison, it was like the good old e-Guides days. I mean really just like that! We had little or no internet connection just like we used to (not) get at some of the early e-Guides venues. I arrived at one venue in Manchester and found that there was no internet at all. The venue had been asked by Niace ‘do you have WiFi?’ to which they had answered yes – but given that it was the early days of WiFi they hadn’t realised that Niace had meant ‘for the delegates’. Hey ho.

LunchStill, we’re here to train the team on online marking – so unless it’s fixed soon we will be really flying by the seat of our pants.

Lunches at the training venue are real Indian take-aways 🙂 All of that we see here in this picture is vegetarian and all really really tasty. However some of the ‘tastes’ are so fiery hot that I can no longer take more than a cursory bite. Top right here, we see a really sweet, cold, rice pudding but it’s not a Müller Fruit Corner. It is in fact the same tomato chutney that almost took the enamel off my teeth, with the idli yesterday. The rice was moderately mild, the dahl, a little hotter and the other savoury bits EVEN hotter. However, this is not a complaint – even a taste this hot satisfies me more than a full dish at some of the restaurants back home.

Sunday onwards next.

 

Read Full Post »

Thursday 13th February 2014

Photo on 2014-02-13 at 10.44So, I’m en route to Bangalore now. I’m sat relaxing in the BA ‘business’ lounge at Manchester Airport. I’ve got a coffee, an apple and a packet of crisps to tide me by and all is well with the world.

It wasn’t like that yesterday though.

I’d left it until yesterday to do some last minute form filling, updating my accounts and, well, packing J. It wasn’t the nicest of days – in fact it was amongst the worst this country has seen http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/in-pictures-26169252 and there was a real fear that simply getting to the airport would be impossible. Alison, with whom I’m travelling and working  over the next two weeks, was even more affected than me.

I spent the day switching between packing, office work and thinking. I was thinking about what to pack, what I’d forgotten, what the next two weeks would bring, and after Sharon rang about 9:15am, about how it never rains but it pours (no weather pun intended). Someone wants to view our house at 9:00am Thursday (today). Exactly the time we need to be on the road to the airport. The same thing happened in summer, just as we’d left for our trip to France. What is it with people searching for houses (especially those few that are interested in our magnificent 4-bed detached in Golcar)?

So that left another thing to stress over – Grrr.

I packed a medium sized case (I’m allowed 2 x 23kg – thank you City and Guilds) and two on-board bags, so I put my hated PC laptop in one on-board bag and my Mac in the other: Sorted. Then I thought better of that and put the hated PC laptop in a laptop bag and moved EVERYTHING into one big suitcase (thinking it would be easier) until I weighed it (approx 23.25kg). Then (remember that besides packing, I was ‘thinking’) I decided that my original plan of medium case plus on-board bags would be better because A) – it’s bloody cold here and (apparently) bloody hot in Bangalore – so I need somewhere to put my hat, coat and wellies once I get to Heathrow J and B) – there is no B.

So – I’m on my way.

Now, there seems to be a fully stocked unmanned bar available just over there – do you think it’s too early?

Read Full Post »