Peter Hentges (jbru) wrote,
Peter Hentges

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The being here, day 1

So my first day has been pretty quiet. I didn't actually get to sleep after I'd posted earlier in the morning and stayed up watching movies on the hotel cable system until 6:00 AM or so. Finally got a couple hours of sleep and then headed down for breakfast.

As I'd been told the prior evening during my whirlwind tour, the main restaurant has a breakfast buffet. It gets billed to the room so I really have no idea how much it costs. I left a 20-rupee tip. (I was able to do that because the front desk changed money for me. Probably not the best rate, but darned convenient.)

Breakfast had a boring selection of western items and I was offered eggs. I opted, instead, to try their Indian selections. There were some crunchy golden things that looked like mini-donuts that went nicely with the coriander chutney. I also liked the things that seemed to essentially be banana pancakes. The tomato chutney was spicier than I expected for breakfast but went well with the dish that appeared to be mashed potatoes with a few vegetables and the plain roasted potato wedges.

After breakfast, I headed back up to my room for more sleep. I was awoken by the fellow from St. Paul who met me at the airport, Rick, and we shared a car to the office. Interesting and surprisingly effective security at the office: You sign in with your name, who you're visiting and why. If you are carrying a bag, a person takes a look through it. Things not allowed appear to include recording media of any kind (CDs, disks). (Though they do allow cell phones, but that seems to be because no one here can function without one.)

The building is all Office Tiger, the company we have a joint venture with. One floor is dedicated to our team. One floor up is the cafeteria and smoking lounge. The whole building used to be a parking garage but has been renovated nicely for this new use. (No slanting floor or other oddness to be seen. I suspect they gutted the main structure and rebuilt it.)

The "business formal" I was informed was the dress code is a bit off. No jackets are required. So I could have gotten away with a selection of button-down shirts and ties. There's a big chunk of luggage space wasted.... In any case, the people were really nice. Those that I'd met in St. Paul came up to welcome me to their home city. I was given a local log-in to the computers and was able to check mail. I even did a bit of "official" work in the few hours I was there. My main task will be clarifying copy for the team as they work on preparing documents. Though highly skilled and possessing very good English, they lack some of the cultural clues that would allow them to decipher the messy handwriting that accompanies so much of our work or an understanding of how our clients might make errors that would allow them to interpret confusing data. (Such as when a row of numbers in a table are not all entered into the same row, due to a missed click or such.)

Had lunch there for 20 rupees. Big bowl of rice, vegetables and four small bowls of accompaniments. All were tasty. Throw in a Sprite for 6 rupees and that was the extent of it.

After lunch, the associated lethargy set in and I started yawning in my seat as the colleague that I'm replacing and I investigated a problem with a job from yesterday. So when my colleague returned to the hotel (she works first shift, as I will next week), I came along and crashed.

Paid for another hour of 'net access here in the room and posted updates. Now planning to change into something casual and go get some food. Don't know if anyone else from my group is up or not but I'm not at all adverse to eating alone, so that won't stop me. Probably won't venture out of the hotel tonight. There's a couple of restaurants to try and I need to check out "The Leather Bar," which is attached to the lobby.

Then to bed and a normal working day tomorrow.

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