Saturday, October 31, 2009

Coming Home! (almost)

I'm headed home tomorrow!  Yipee!!  My flight leaves India just after midnight Iowa time, and if all goes well, I arrive home at 7pm.  My layovers are shorter this time, so overall travel time is lower.

Since Monday I've been in Pune, India.  My schedule has been something like this:  Leave hotel at 7am.  Work until 6:30 or so.  Back to hotel to drop off work stuff.  Out to dinner with work colleagues.  Back to hotel at 10:30 or so.  I'm WORN OUT and ready to come home.

Another reason I want to come home -- our company's security/traveler tracking service sent this alert out yesterday:
Information about your trip which may affect your travel.

Travel Alert: India

Consular Affairs Bulletins

South / Central Asia - India

29 Oct 2009

The Department of State alerts U.S. citizens to continuing security concerns in India. The U.S. Government continues to receive information that terrorist groups may be planning attacks in India. Terrorists and their sympathizers have demonstrated their willingness and capability to attack targets where Americans or Westerners are known to congregate or visit.
Apparently the complex where my company's office is located is suspected to be a target (lots of western companies have large operations there).  I know the odds are low that anything would happen, but still......
In dog news, here's a dog that was sleeping outside our office building on Thursday.  It didn't even move when I approached, and I had to work quite hard to get it's attention.  Funny that the word "biscuit" didn't even work.  Works every time with the Trio of Trouble ;)

It turns out that our driver for the week is an animal lover.  I asked him some questions about the dogs that are everywhere.  Here's what I learned:

  • The dogs are stray/wild (not a surprise)

  • Dogs are considered a holy animal in Hinduism

  • Many people don't like all the dogs - they think the dogs are dangerous (and, realistically, some probably are)

  • The dog populations continue to increase

  • The government made it legal to shoot these stray/wild dogs

  • The majority of the population doesn't agree with this - many think sterilization is the way to go

  • Mostly the dogs fend for themselves and eat trash, but some people feed the dogs (see note on holy animal listed above)

Our driver prefers dogs to cats, and has 5 cats, and 8 kittens.  His cats don't like to go outside because of all the stray dogs, but he agrees with the sterilization point of view.

Here's another dog pic I was able to get.  The land surrounding the dog is pretty representative of the public space overall (lots of trash & debris)


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