Mumbai trip

I thoroughly enjoyed last week’s trip to Mumbai.
The flight over was surprisingly chaos free during boarding at both ends. Mumbai airport is currently midway through being renovated – when it’s finished it’ll be pretty decent. I was impressed – much brighter and more airy than many parts of Heathrow, for example.
I had a driver for the whole week, although I only used him about twice. I’m used to an airport pickup when taxis in the country I’m visiting are, erm, challenging, but I’ve never had a driver at my beck and call. Mr Baiju from Kerala did a sterling job ferrying me through the horrendous traffic. Getting from A to B is a challenge, to say the least.
The stark difference between rich and poor was something I was prepared for, but I was still a little shocked.
The customer we met was very switched on. They know what they want and made it clear what was expected from us. I know that we can deliver what they want and am looking forward to being part of the project, hopefully.
The Sun team I worked with were a good bunch. Most Sun offices look fairly similar – ‘Sun purple’ decor, light wooden coloured desks and pictures of Sun equipment on the walls. There’s also a similar Sun culture wherever I’ve been, but each country has its own feel. I felt the atmosphere in this office to be pretty lively – not surprising considering the growth that this particular Sun region is seeing.
Living and working in the Gulf for six years means I’ve worked with Indian people on many occasions, both as close colleagues, customers and partners. I’ve also been a customer of Indian run businesses, staffed by Indians. It was fun finally to work with Indians in India, albeit only for a couple of days.
My hotel was excellent. Pleasant, attentive service, pleasant room, good internet connection.
The first night I ate in the hotel’s ‘Peshawar’ restaurant, which was serving food from the Northern parts of India and Pakistan. Excellent, but I felt like a bit of a twit trying to eat my food with my hands, traditional style. The plate of sliced onions was particularly challenging. I wasn’t really sure how to eat everything and couldn’t manage just to use the one hand – my knife and fork using fingers aren’t flexible enough to break off bread, dipping it in sauce and wrapping it in kebab. Two hands tucked in to my mutton kebabs. I think I caught the waiters chuckling at the mess I was making. Can’t blame them.
The second evening was similar fare at a different restaurant, but in a more fine dining style with knife and fork. Once again the sliced onions proved difficult. Next time I need to summon up the courage to ask the waiter for guidance.
I’m not usually a buffet fan when travelling as I usually end up eating far too much, but the buffet restaurant was the only option if I didn’t want spicy food. Much as I enjoy spicy food every now and then, two days of spicy pizza for lunch and spicy kebabs for dinner was spicy enough for me, so I headed over.
This particular buffet was excellent – I picked my food, had it freshly cooked for me, ate it, gave in to the waitress tempting me with more food, had it freshly cooked, ate it and ran out before I stuffed myself with even more. I had a first class steak with prawns and stir fired vegetables.
I don’t usually write about food much here, so you can safely assume that the ITC Maratha was top notch…
I will post some photos later.

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Mumbai trip

I thoroughly enjoyed last week’s trip to Mumbai.
The flight over was surprisingly chaos free during boarding at both ends. Mumbai airport is currently midway through being renovated – when it’s finished it’ll be pretty decent. I was impressed – much brighter and more airy than many parts of Heathrow, for example.
I had a driver for the whole week, although I only used him about twice. I’m used to an airport pickup when taxis in the country I’m visiting are, erm, challenging, but I’ve never had a driver at my beck and call. Mr Baiju from Kerala did a sterling job ferrying me through the horrendous traffic. Getting from A to B is a challenge, to say the least.
The stark difference between rich and poor was something I was prepared for, but I was still a little shocked.
The customer we met was very switched on. They know what they want and made it clear what was expected from us. I know that we can deliver what they want and am looking forward to being part of the project, hopefully.
The Sun team I worked with were a good bunch. Most Sun offices look fairly similar – ‘Sun purple’ decor, light wooden coloured desks and pictures of Sun equipment on the walls. There’s also a similar Sun culture wherever I’ve been, but each country has its own feel. I felt the atmosphere in this office to be pretty lively – not surprising considering the growth that this particular Sun region is seeing.
Living and working in the Gulf for six years means I’ve worked with Indian people on many occasions, both as close colleagues, customers and partners. I’ve also been a customer of Indian run businesses, staffed by Indians. It was fun finally to work with Indians in India, albeit only for a couple of days.
My hotel was excellent. Pleasant, attentive service, pleasant room, good internet connection.
The first night I ate in the hotel’s ‘Peshawar’ restaurant, which was serving food from the Northern parts of India and Pakistan. Excellent, but I felt like a bit of a twit trying to eat my food with my hands, traditional style. The plate of sliced onions was particularly challenging. I wasn’t really sure how to eat everything and couldn’t manage just to use the one hand – my knife and fork using fingers aren’t flexible enough to break off bread, dipping it in sauce and wrapping it in kebab. Two hands tucked in to my mutton kebabs. I think I caught the waiters chuckling at the mess I was making. Can’t blame them.
The second evening was similar fare at a different restaurant, but in a more fine dining style with knife and fork. Once again the sliced onions proved difficult. Next time I need to summon up the courage to ask the waiter for guidance.
I’m not usually a buffet fan when travelling as I usually end up eating far too much, but the buffet restaurant was the only option if I didn’t want spicy food. Much as I enjoy spicy food every now and then, two days of spicy pizza for lunch and spicy kebabs for dinner was spicy enough for me, so I headed over.
This particular buffet was excellent – I picked my food, had it freshly cooked for me, ate it, gave in to the waitress tempting me with more food, had it freshly cooked, ate it and ran out before I stuffed myself with even more. I had a first class steak with prawns and stir fired vegetables.
I don’t usually write about food much here, so you can safely assume that the ITC Maratha was top notch…
I will post some photos later.

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