The car ride to Pune from Mumbai was about 3 hours long. The route at times was very nice, curving through the Sahyadri mountain range. The Sahyadri mountain range was formed by volcanic ash thousands of years ago. Along the road people are stopped all over taking pictures of the many waterfalls throwing water over the trees. In the distance it is hard to see but there are monkeys up in the trees. There is a park in this area, where many people go to have some food and sit to break up the drive.
While driving to Gauri's parents house, I noticed the traffic pattern the Indian's follow is something to be desired. Unless you are battling your way through a demolition derby. The only thing is I never saw any cars hit each other. But we came real damn close...often!
Finally arriving at our destination after more than 20 hours of traveling, I was introduced to the family I would be staying with for almost 3 weeks. First, I would like to introduce the family that I left the states with: Gauri (friend and colleague) and her family - Shashank (husband), Sameera (daughter), and Neil (son).
Gauri's family who we would be staying with:
Mom: Kaku Dad: Kaka Sister: Dhanashree Brother in-law: Gautam Their two children: Ruchi (daughter) and Mihir (son)
This is my first entry. The planes are nice, you have your own T.V., and I was lucky there was no one between me and the lady (Bhvan) in the other isle seat.
We finally left JFK around 5:30 pm, and we just landed in Paris. This "pit stop" is supposed to take 2 hours. Air India is on strike, and the companies contracts have not been signed for the Pilots/Crew to make their full 15 hour journey non stop to Mumbai. The current time is 7 am in Paris.
What does a pit stop mean, well the staff from Charles De Gaulle Airport ran up and down the planes with vacuums, toilet paper, mouth wash, and cleaning supplies. They spent most of their time cleaning the bathrooms of the planes. The flight crew changed too.
There was nothing too amusing about this, except being woken up after sleeping for only 1.5 hours. During this time we were allowed to stand up, you couldn't leave the plane, the bathrooms were out of order, most people had an angry look on their face, and the lights in the plane were very bright.
From Paris it will take another 8 hours to New Delhi, from there we had a connecting flight that would take us to Mumbai. Once in Mumbai, we would take a taxi to Shashank's brothers house. We would sleep there for about 5 hours, then take another car to Pune...our final destination.
A tip for flying on an International flight to India. When you have your third meal of Curry, and you think your salad has a nice "snow-pea" on top of it...guess again, that my friends is a very, very, very hot pepper! Do not eat it.
My name is Todd Noyes. I am a Math teacher at Ithaca High School in New York, and I work for Cornell's Upward Bound Program over the summer. I was fortunate enough to travel to India during August 2012, and meet with some schools. This is a blog that takes you through my time in India, and the global relationships that I am hoping to form.