By 1:45 I was checked in, and my bags were irrevocably on their way to India. I decided to follow them.
The BA lounge at Edinburgh Airport has moved since I last used it, and is even nicer than it was. It made a very handy base for buying a few last essentials and eating free crisps.
British Airways flights are also more comfortable than I remember. Although that may just be a case of Easyjet's medium level of comfort wiping everything else from my mind.
_Business Class_ BA flights are still absolutely amazingly comfortable. Seriously comfortable - with adjustable seats that recline, and then turn all the way into beds. And a pull-out TV with video on demand for a range of TV and movies.
Not that I watched anything - I took the opportunity to finish off Andreas Eschbach's "One Trillion Dollars", which was an interesting idea (a man inherits a stupidly large amount of money, and the obligation to change the world, what does he do with it?" that never quite pulls the story side together. Lots of little bits of plot that are all interesting (if a bit dated in their attitudes sometimes), but the overall shape never reaches a conclusion. Which is possibly part of the point, but in that case it could have done _that_ better. Passionate, interesting, but sadly not quite good enough to recommend.
Next up, I started "The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet", which was recommended by anef, and is so far an awful lot of fun. It feels like classic Space Opera in many ways, has done a great job of introducing characters and background, and has made me feel like this is a spacefaring crew I'd actively want to spend time with. I'll write something more on it when I'm finished.
I slept badly - trying to fall asleep from 10pm UK-time, but not managing until after midnight, due to stress, noise, etc. And was then woken at 2:30am UK-time (7am India-time) by breakfast being served and the lights coming back up.
Thankfully, the person organising our trip had noticed the 6 hour layover we were going to have in Delhi, and booked us into some rooms at the airport designed exactly for people who had arrived on no sleep and needed a room that was basically bed sized, and a shower for when they woke up. This added an extra three hours onto my sleep total, and five hours sleep is _much_ easier to get by on than two.
The flight to Pune from Delhi was uneventful (and the food served was nice - although this is still probably the most stressful thing about the trip for me. The chances of me getting IBS-friendly food along the way is basically zero, so I'm resigned to 10 days of a dodgy tummy. Although, obviously, I'll do my best to minimise this where possible.)
India was familiarly shocking - the crushing poverty and remarkably dangerous road usage is exactly as I remember it.
We arrived at the hotel at the same time as the people we're tag-teaming were arriving back from the office, and spent the next four hours talking about how to carry out Knowledge Transfer, what the people are like (lovely, and smart, which is nice), and having dinner.
And then I retired to my room to chat with Julie. I can't install Skype on my work laptop, but thanks to WebRTC being a standard, I can do video chat from Firefox to Chrome without needing to install any plugins at all!
Before that, however, I snapped these two photos from the hotel verandah. One away from the sun, capturing a rather nice rainbow. The other showing the sun setting over the river outside the hotel. India continues to be breathtaking.
Outside of my window, in the grounds of the hotel, there is a wedding going on. Earlier there were traditional Indian instruments, and a horse decked up in colourful cloths and decorations. Right now, there is a live band playing "Another Brick In The Wall". You can try to draw a lesson from that if you like, but India is far too large to be so easily contained in lessons.
Original post on Dreamwidth - there are comments there.