First Days in India!
Wow- traveling to India on my IDSC 3001 class trip has been amazing so far, and we are only about 4-5 days in (if you consider 30 hours of traveling to get here as a day). There are 12 students, 4-girls and 8-boys as well as our International Coordinator Roxanne and our Professor Alok Gupta. I don't have much time today but I will just put a few random paragraphs together to tell you about the first few days here!
The flights went very well and luckily went by pretty quick. It was a 15 hour flight from Chicago to India and most of the class slept the entire time! We arrived at night here and we all were very confused with the time zone change as it is 11.5 hours ahead of the central time zone. It has taken these entire 4 days for me to catch up on sleep and get on a schedule
The first day was the coldest day in India in the past 5 years! Lucky us! However, compared to below zero back in MInnesota, it was about 50 degress here but very, very windy, so we were all quite satisfied with the weather compared to the locals.
On this day, we got an entire day to tour the city of Delhi. We saw the War Memorial as well as different Mosques and towers built by different emperors. I forgot my itinerary therefore I can't tell you all the names exactly-and we have to pay for internet at our hotel so I'm leaving this day quite vague. -Sorry! Monday-tour day- was amazing and we all got to see the completely differnet culture that India has compared to the US.
As for our hotel, it is amazing! Very, very nice place and well kept. There is security everywhere and you have to go through a medal detector before you can enter the building so it is very reassuring. However, this is true for most businesses and even malls throughout India, to my suprise. Even the underground market we had to go through security.
India is a very populated place (2.1 billion people and 14 million in Delhi alone) and there are people everywhere! Cars pack the roads and there is no order in the streets what-so-ever. The dotted white lines mean nothing to them and they tend to honk, swerve, merge, and turn without any care in the world. We have all come across many close calls with being hit by cars already! There are also people just sitting around on the grass, on the sidewalks, starting fires randomly places, just roaming around-you just can't seem to get away from people.
Another very interesting fact I noticed was that were there is one Indian worker needed-there are at least 4 along for the ride. For example, if you pass a gas station, there will be two workers at every pump, however they are all standing around chatting and we hardly ever see them working! Also, while making our eggs in the morning, one cook was frying the egg, and 3 others were looking over his shoulder observing. It is quite amusing! Also, most workers seem to be men and we have talked to our professor about it and it just seems to be the trend here however women are getting educated.
Tuesday we had two site visits. At the first site visit we had a meeting with the head of NASSCOM which deals with BPO's (look it up too long to explain ha!) of India and is a major player in their economy. Also here we met up with another Carlson group of MBA's that are here for two weeks and it was very intriguing to listen to their view points and get different perspectives. The second company visit was not quite the same as listening to a presentation and asking questions. Here we got a guided tour of the Metro which has been built in the last 6 years and completely changed the way of life in Delhi. We went through the metro museum and also took a short ride on it. Very interesting to see and also interested me as the Cities have just started a similar transit system and it will be great to see how it will evolve!
After the two site visits we were able to have the rest of hte night off! We went to a local shopping area in Delhi and went to the underground market-where we were advised not to buy anything as there are many knock-off items. However the bargaining was definitely an experience and very fun to deal with. Afterwards we hung out in the hotel lobby as a group.
A few other notes I have learned and saw is that they are very impressed by Americans (especially blondes). As there are so many people on the streets and as we have to wait for the long traffic lights, we find many Indians smiling and waving at us. However, they all seem to be very friendly people and are very interested in where we come from and why.
I don't think I will have time to get to today, Wednesday's schedule so you will have to check back in a few days as I will try to keep this as up to date as possible!
PS-sorry if there are spelling mistakes I wrote this very quickly!!