Occasionally I have to travel for my work to visit other office locations and it is mostly within the U.S. The last time I traveled internationally for work was in 2011 during hurricane Irene when I couldn’t get back to NY from Belgium for 3 days. I ended up going to Chicago first, stayed for two nights, then went to Baltimore and took the (very affordable) Bolt express bus home.
In less than a week, I am going to Mumbai, India. This will be the second time I am in Mumbai. The first time was in October 2009 during Dawali (festival of light), one of the biggest holiday celebrations in India . I went with a small group of people to New Delhi first, then to Mumbai. The first impression of India when we got off the plane in Delhi and walked out to the terminal was there were a lot of people waiting to pick up passengers at 1 o’clock in the morning. Then, when we were in the car and on the road to our hotel, we saw more people, mostly sleeping on the side of the road or on the street. A lot of traffic even in the early morning.
After checked in the hotel and freshen up, we got on the pre-arranged private air conditioned minivan and were on our way to the Taj Mahal. The Taj Mahal is located in Arga and is a 5-hours drive from Delhi. We drove through some very bumper roads and saw many local areas and villages. Local people tend to sleep and work in the same place. We saw many small hut like structures made out of mud and hay. You can see a mattress laying on the ground in the back of the structure and there would be a wooden stand in the front where they are selling something like food or hand crafts.
The Taj Mahal was very impressive and breathtaking. No wonder it is on the list of Wonders of the World.
We only stayed for two nights (3 nights if you count the one I had to catch a plane at 3 in the morning) in Mumbai. We managed to visit the Gates of India and the Taj hotel where the terror attack happened in 2008. Mumbai is a city full of life and people, regardless of what time of the day it is.
The first trip was more of a getting to know India and the people kind of trip. We did a lot of networking with people from other business units within our company.
This second trip will be quite different as I will be going alone. There will not be any sightseeing trips. I will be working 9 to 5, eastern NY time everyday, which means I will be working 6:30pm to 2:30am local time. One good thing of working these hours (or depending on how you look at it) I will have plenty of time to go shopping or sightseeing on my own if I don’t want to sleep. I am “glass is half full” kind of girl so I always look at things on the bright side.
I can’t wait to see Mumbai again. I wonder what my impression will be to really see it the second time and have time to explore the city this time (I hope).