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Now that I have been in Pune a week, and it is Sunday of a three day weekend, I have some time to post a few observations about my first day.

Since I was in the last row of my flight to Pune, I was also at the back of the line to clear Customs which took about 45 minutes. Thankfully my driver was still waiting and I found him very quickly.

Around 5 am we arrived at my temporary housing for the first week (although I didn’t know it was temporary – more on that later). After they got my bags out of the car they asked me if I knew the property, which I did not. I think they thought that I had been there before and was just returning when in fact I needed keys and directions to where I would be staying.

Out came the mobile phones, and sadly at least one of my co-workers was woken at this crazy hour to figure out what was going on. And within about 10 minutes (an actual 10 minutes not what those of you who have been here before might be imagining) we were headed to an apartment, keys in hand.

But, that one wasn’t ready, so we moved to another unit and waited a short bit for someone to find the keys. Thankfully that one was ready and I was able to get in and see an actual bed again after 26 or so hours of travel.

The last part of this craziness was that there wasn’t a set of keys to give me a set at that time and I was told to just call for them in the morning. Thankfully the door on my room had a lock that could not be unlocked from the outside, so I at least felt safe for the night in a new place. Not that it would have kept me from sleeping given how tired I was from the journey.

In the morning, yes it was morning, about 11, but morning, I started looking into the key situation and realized that I was in sort of twist on a Hotel California (or Hotel Pune) situation. I could leave my room and wander around the apartment, but if I left the apartment, I would not be able to get back in since the door would lock behind me.

Having no local currency and not sure where the ATMs were, especially ones that would work with my card, I started making some calls, very thankful that I had been given a local phone with some of the important numbers programmed in. The response was great, shortly I had keys and information about ATMs and nearby restaurants I set out to get my first look at the neighborhood and some lunch. I had success in both.

With a full tummy I realized that I was still very tired so I broke all of the rules about how to survive jet lag and took about a 3 hour nap. All I can say is that after doing that and staying up until midnight, my jet lag has been about the least that I have ever had. Yes, I have been a bit tired during but as far as waking up in the night, it has happened but I have been able to get back to sleep much more quickly than other times (in the minutes rather than the hours).

Wendy

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So I am sitting in the lounge at the Frankfort airport with very little energy and droopy eyes, basically just about enough energy to get this post out.

I spent the last week prepping and packing to spend the next 2 months in Pune, India as a trainer for my company’s training program for graduate hires. It is an assignment that I have wanted to do for quite some time and in the past it has always fallen through with my being needed somewhere else (a good thing in and of its own right).

The flight from Chicago to Frankfort was pretty uneventful, well at least after getting a very last minute upgrade to Business Class (a good event). It was a bit turbulent, but that only really got in the way by delaying getting to the restroom prior to conking out for the night.

Crazy as things are, I did run into a co-worker in the lounge in Chicago who I hadn’t seen for awhile and was on the same flight, as he is heading to Bangalore now and will be in Pune in a few days. It was not only nice to see him, but also nice to have someone to hang out with in the lounge. Not to mention someone who could lend me a power adapter since while I packed my India & UK ones (for an overnight transit on the way back), I forgot about needing one in Frankfort on the way over.

OK, I am fading fast, good thing I only have just over another hour until boarding, then if I wind up getting a little more sleep, it won’t be while worrying that I won’t wake up to board my flight.

It’s 10 PM and I am trying hard to get the last few things done before heading halfway around the world after work tomorrow.

I am very excited to be returning to India, after being gone for 5 years and to be going to a city that surprisingly I didn’t make it to in either of my last two trips, Chennai.

I am not thrilled about the flights to get there, nor about the fact that I am only staying 5 days. Well, I guess I’m partially thrilled about that as I am headed back to France for a couple of weeks immediately upon leaving India, and I haven’t been there since my sabbatical 4 years ago.

Of course this made for quite the packing dilemma, as the dress in each place is quite different, especially for women. Given that we are taking the TGV in France, I needed to pack light. Yet I needed loose, flowing, modest clothes in India, and more of a sundress look for the south of France. Somehow, I was able to get what seems like a good wardrobe, as well as running shoes, a hair dryer (220 of course),and a trail yoga mat all in my bag and come in well under the weight limit. Of course, I am sure that I forgot something, but that’s what stores are for, right?

I guess I now have to stop procrastinating under the pretenses of testing out the updated WordPress iPad app and get back to that list of things that has to be done before I leave, of which sleep is dropping lower on the list by the minute, which could be a good thing come flight time tomorrow.

Look forward to more stories here and pictures on Facebook as my travels unwind.

Wendy

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