“You have less fear of strangers than most people and today brings you even farther out into the world! It’s a great day to strike up random conversations with strangers and see where they lead. ” — my horoscope for the day. it wasn’t kidding.
It was Wednesday afternoon when they told me I was going to India for training. India. This coming Sunday. Eeep. My kalakadkarin-ness rose to another level. Before I knew it, Lorena and I were shuttling to and fro the HP offices & the Indian embassy, trying to pull up everything we need for the trip. Don’t even get me started on how hard it was to get to the embassy — whose brilliant idea was it anyway to put a government office right smack in the middle of Dasmarinas village, a.k.a. land of the ultra-paranoid security guards?
Somehow, everything fell into place (except maybe for my AMEX application) and we found ourselves in NAIA on Sunday afternoon. It wasn’t even sinking in yet that I was to go on my first trip outside Philippine soil. As if that wasn’t surreal enough, Jericho Rosales stepped out of the plane we were about to get on. Sweet!
We landed in the Kuala Lumpur airport for our connecting trip to Bangalore. Awesome, simply awesome. We even got on a train to get to the other side of the airport. I wish NAIA at least had a train that connected it to the rest of civilization. While waiting for the flight to board, Lorena and I spotted several people with HP backpacks – a dead giveaway for HP employees. Once we boarded the plane, we were right next to the HP backpack guys and it happened that they indeed were based in one of the HP India offices. Our new friends Sunil & Santosh gave us a lot of tips to prepare us for the city. A nifty treat was that the new India airport was just opened 2 days ago (as Sunil put it, the old airport was ‘pathetic’), and we were all seeing it for the first time.
During the trip, we also got a preview of the cuisine we were about to brace for the next few days — lamb curry & chutney were being served for dinner. I counted the hours, knowing that the next few days would bring about something even more interesting.