For the first leg of my trip, I'm in Chennai. After the afore-posted horrendously long plane trip, my colleagues and I arrived shortly after midnight on Thursday. We then had meetings all day Thursday. Fun, eh? Thank goodness for caffeine.
Thankfully, our hosts understand that we don't get to India often, so they took us on a short sightseeing side trip. The trip was to a shrine at the top of a hill, overlooking Chennai. We had a beautiful view of the city and there was a nice breeze, which gave us some relief from the heat (the locals say it's "cool" here now well over 90 degrees plus humidity).
One of my colleagues became a local celebrity on this stop. The girl's school was just letting out for the day, and my colleague was very popular. The students LOVED her blonde hair, and insisted that they take pictures with her (she spent about 15 minutes posing w/ various groups of students). My colleague says thanks to her hairdresser for the lovely blonde hightlights!
I also saw an amusing sign on one of the buildings at the top of a hill, a secluded location at night - you get the picture. But what a polite way to ask.....
Our work included a visit with a local customer. It was wonderful to visit the customer's home, and sit on his veranda for a chat. He didn't speak English, and my colleagues & I don't speak Tamil, so we were relying on our local marketing manager to do the chatting on our behalf, and to translate. I felt like I was in a Saturday Night Live skit. Here's a sample conversation: Lani or colleague asks marketing manager to ask customer a question. Marketing manager asks customer the question. Customer spends 5 minutes replying. Marketing manager tells us, "He thinks that's ok." Repeat this scene over and over for about 45 minutes. Now picture yourself trying to keep from laughing if you were in my place.
Tomorrow we work most of the day, then fly to the another city. I'll keep you posted on how the trip is going. Oh, and remind me to do a post about the traffic in India. Not for the faint of heart, or the carsick.
And, since this is a dog blog, here's a picture of a local canine (a pretty good representative for the many, many, dogs I've seen wandering the streets).