Sunday, January 26, 2014

Julie in India: Journey Over and Day 1

I want to make sure that i record my experiences here in India, so I'm resurrecting our old blog that we never did anything with.  After less than 12 hours here, I can confidently say:

  1. I'm going to gain ten pounds from the wonderful food
  2. The service in this country is amazing; everyone takes such great pride in their roles and making you feel comfortable 
  3. I'm exhausted!
The Trip Over
I was lucky enough for business class to be cheaper than premium economy, so I got to fly business class on both the DFW to LHR leg with AA, and the LHR to DEL (New Delhi) leg with BA.  Both flights were lovely; but I'll share a few comments on each.  AA DFW to LHR was great to be on one of the new 777 planes that they are flying for some select routes.  Food, service, and seat were great; this YouTube Video gives a great overview of the new plane and seat.  I especially like that every seat has aisle access.  I had a quick layover in Heathrow (enough time to spray some perfume in the Duty Free section and grab a quick sandwich from my favorite sandwich place, EAT) - changed terminals and quickly boarded the flight to Delhi.  The BA Flight was good as well; the layout of the business class seats is pretty funny if you aren't traveling with friends and family.  I was in the window seat similar to what you see in the picture at the top of this page.  The translucent privacy screen is 'down' by default and you are basically staring at the person seated adjacent to you.  My seat mate immediately put up the privacy screen after take off (phew!), but every time the flight attendants came, they put it down, scaring me and clearly annoying the 'very important businessman' seated next to me.  Other crazy thing - when the person behind my intimate seat mate extended his foot rest, i was basically trapped and had to climb over his legs/foot rest to get out - good thing I've still got my dexterity!  That aside, I loved being in my own little cocoon by the window and got some good rest and enjoyed a few movies, especially Blue Jasmine.

The Arrival
I was lucky enough to be on the LHR to DEL leg with two of my NYC coworkers, Cory and Vikas, so are so much fun.  They freaked me out while boarding telling me they were going to miss the flight, but boys will be boys and they were just teasing, which was pretty hilarious.  The Delhi airport is really nice, and also quite quiet at 1:30 AM!  Passport control was a breeze, all of our bags arrived intact, and we easily found our driver who took us to the hotel.  Our driver was so nice; we had a lovely chat while walking to our car in the cool, foggy, morning breeze.  We arrived at the Radisson Blu Noida in about 30 minutes to a lovely reception from the staff at the Blu.  I'm generally dubious of people in the service industry in terms of their sincerity, but I really felt like everyone truly wanted to make our stay the best possible.  We were whisked off to our rooms which are quite nice; I definitely think I'll enjoy two weeks here!

Day 1
Had a nice sleep from 5AM to 10:45 AM; I think I'll be rested in time for work tomorrow, but I may have to cave and have a sleeping pill tonight just to make sure.  I meant to wake up at 9:45, but in typical Julie fashion, I set my alarm for PM instead of AM!  Woke up realizing there was only 15 mins left for breakfast...argh!  threw on some clothes and ran down to be welcomed by the staff and assured it was no problem for me to eat even though there were only five mins left until breakfast closed!  Oh, the breakfast buffet - I will be looking forward to this every morning.  One section is every type of fresh squeezed juice and fresh fruit you can think of, yogurt, pastries, salami, cheese, etc, and the other section is the 'hot breakfast.'  For the hot breakfast, the chefs will cook you any type of eggs/omelette you want, and there are all the fixings for an English/American breakfast.  There's also wonderful curry, noodles, and other traditional Indian breakfast fare.  I particularly enjoyed dunking the idli into the comforting sambal.  Today's breakfast was a bit of delirious rush due to my oversleeping, but I plan to take even better advantage tomorrow!

Today is Republic Day, which celebrates India's Declaration of Independence from British rule in 1947.  I enjoyed watching a bit of the parade on TV this morning, but not excited as it's a 'dry day' - was looking forward to a glass or two of wine to help me sleep tonight!  Since then, I've been getting situated in my room, looking forward to my massage appointment at 5PM, and excited to meet some of my London team members tonight at dinner.  An evening of recharge and socializing with new friends sounds like the perfect kick off to two weeks of hard work and hard play!