Saturday, August 26, 2006

Ready for Non-Quiet

I've been flying solo at the house since Wednesday. Even thought my working days have been extended, as well as very exciting given the new organization stuff, I'm ready for "my people" to come home! They will be home this afternoon, given the following contigency courtesy of my dear departed grandmother: "Good Lord willin', and the crik don't rise."

Next week is the last week that J will be home. We're going to the Earth Wind and Fire concert next Friday, and that should be a blast. J will finish her local work on Thursday. The reality of her departure to school is in full view. It is my most sincere wish that next week is special and that the final pages of this chapter in her life read happily. If I do what dads do best, I'll take the pen (keyboard) and help with the verse.

Between posts to the blog, I finished Anne Lamott's Plan B which was a truly soulful read. Ms. Lamott writes effectively, writes from the heart, and effectively reached my heart. Few people I know can so effectively bare their soul and expose the very essence of the insanity of humanity. She has found her's and through her ability to describe her inner sanctum so very well, Ms. Lamott is able to ulitmately maintain the upper hand. (Just how many people reside inside us, anyway?)

The Fenders are coming to dinner tonight. With the contingent returning from the beach, I'll prepare dinner for all. It's the least that I can do since I've been absent for their sojourn in the states thusfar.

And, since the last post, the Yoga teacher training class came together! I'm so happy about this and the opportunity to go deep into and develop my personal practice, as well as learning more about enabling others who are so inclined. I helped my second classmate learn to do a handstand (sharing the technique I learned from Sage) and she was so elated with the accomplishment that I had no choice but to feel rewarded. Enabling others to achieve, excel, learn, grow, do their best, accomplish, and so forth is most certainly a part of who I truly am.

Saturday, August 19, 2006


So far, I've written about the early travel logistics that slowed down my progress as well as challenged my patience. I haven't written much about the country.

Amazingly, I arrived in Bangalore around 4 in the morning on Wednesday, the 9th of August. It is fortunate that a representative from the hotel was waiting for me and escorted me to the car which would take me to the hotel. The airport in Bangalore is not like airports you would find in the US -- complete with signs leading you to the various venues where you'd find customs, baggage, ground transportation, rental cars, shuttle buses and the like. The airport basically exits to the street, which was alive and happening even at this early hour.

The driver was very enthusiastic about showing me around in a little pre-dawn tour of the city. I could see remnants of the British Empire, which conjured up images of the aristocracy cushioned in a relatively plush existence compared to the lifestyle of the majority. I kept looking for the shimmering oasis that Thomas Friedman wrote about, but I never saw it. (I was informed by one of my customers after returning that EC1 and EC2 are outside of the metropolitan area, and about a 45-minute shuttle bus ride from town.)

In one of the travel books that I scanned before travel, I read about how the locals would enjoy talking about family, politics and values. Not being informed about current Indian politics, I stuck to the things I could talk about. The driver was delighted to tell me about his two children and wife, and how they are practicing Catholics. At the end of the ride, I offered him 200 INR (about $4.30 US) and he offered to be my driver to any destination I desired.

I was very happy to find the hotel, Le Meridien, to be a most suitable facility (quite pricey at $290 US/night and most certainly over-priced). It was good to get a couple of hours to settle in, check e-mail, etc. before meeting with my colleague at 8:00.

Short nights and long days were the norm for this trip, which I will continue to describe in subsequent posts.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

The Visa

Part of the travel dilemma centered around receipt of the visa. I executed on a recovery plan after realizing that the visa would not arrive on the 5th as expected. I phoned the agency when they opened on Monday and explained that I needed to travel that afternoon. The agency, which is used to performing rush jobs, quickly got on the ball and sent my visa via AA freight. I was to pick up the package at 2:19pm at RDU. Simple enough as I was scheduled on a 4:50 flight to Logan, and then out of the country heading toward Bangalore.

Dutifully, I arrived a 2:15 at the AA freight terminal which is just past terminal C and to the right (just in case you ever need to know). I was feeling pretty good about my recovery plan until the clerk greeted me. They were expecting the expedited parcel and had driven out to the plane expecting to receive this. The team informed me that my package was not on the plane.

Naturally, this started us on a network of activities. Call the shipper, call the UPS Sonic desk, call AA tracing, and so forth. The weather started getting bad at RDU, but the freight handler took another ride out to double-check the plane. Still no package.

The AA freight handler at Dulles remembered the parcel and was certain that this was on the flight. Normal procedure indicates that the package, if not on the first flight, would default to the next available flight. Since that plane hadn't left yet we sought assistance to inspect the baggage carts at the freight area. Still no luck.

The lighting strikes increased at RDU. This disrupted the ground operations at the airport, effectively shutting down the airport for several hours. I believe the ruling is no strikes within 10 miles for 10 minutes to resume gate ops.

About 5:15 the storm cleared. The freight attendant went to the plane once more. About 5:40, he returned with my visa in hand. I said very little as I then sought to catch up with my 4:50 flight which had been delayed.

And this is where we'll resume the story next time.

Monday, August 14, 2006


Just a quick update. I made it to and from India, although the trip was frought with complications. At the end of the story, business was good.

I'll try to tell the stories as time permits.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Waiting for FedEx

Due to a bit of negligence, which ultimately I bear the responsibility for, I'm waiting for the FedEx truck to deliver my visa for the trip to India. In early July, I dutifully had my visa photos made, put this with my letter of invitation, surrendered my passport to my colleague's admin. It made sense to "batch" the submission, and I (thought) I had agreement to do this. Last week, my admin showed up with the package and asked for my DL for submission. She rescued the package from the other admin, where it would otherwise still be sitting. In the scurry to get the package to the agency, we didn't include the requisite application for visa. This discovery was Tuesday, and we quickly filled out the paperwork and submitted.

The paperwork was with the agency on Wed. We checked daily. Friday, the plan was to pick up the visa at the consul, and overnight to me for Saturday delivery. I should have received an e-mail confirming this event. I neither received the e-mail nor my visa.

I'm supposed to fly Monday afternoon, but won't know anything more until the agency opens 8:30 Monday. Will have to plan from there forward.