Time flies when having fun. This is a fact. It has already been 4 weeks since I arrived in Pune, India. In that short time I have gained much experiences and impressions. To give a summary of all these impressions is a difficult task.

Only in Pune there are 7,2 to 7,3 million people. All of them living their own live in their own fashion. This is also why I cannot compare or make general statements about the people. I just take everything in and enjoy my observations.

Some of the nice moments of this past period:

Once again a big story, but compared to all the experiences I have gained this is just a small portion. See you on the next update!

The traffic is an experience which I will carry forever. It seems like one big Ant pile and the use of the horn will never be banished. Without the horn the people will not know how to deal with traffic. Despite all the high volume of traffic I do not see many accidents. Maybe this is because the speeds are less than back home or it is because of the horn :)

What I do notice are the smaller “stupid” accidents. It may happen that somebody drives by and just falls down with the bike… Loss of balance.

My biggest shock was the moment at the parking garage of Accenture. The customer and we visited one of the Accenture towers and were about to exit the car. I had just told some of my traffic experiences with the customer and how some people use high speeds in small areas… When opening my door a bike drove by with a lady on the back. The door flew out of my hands and the lady flew through the air landing in between the parked motorcycles. Crash… With the shock still in our legs we continued with the tour. I think the lady (who could walk again after taking some breath) will have experienced some difficulties after.

My finest moment in traffic was will driving the bike (Pulsar) of Safdar by myself. I drove from Magarpatta city to MG Road and back in the evening. What a rush! Now I am missing my own bike. Can we ship it to India? :P

The food here is different than home. Many herbs and people are mostly vegetarians’. To be a vegetarian means no meat, chicken, eggs, fish, etc. There are no degrees like back in the Netherlands.

The non-vegetarian meals are always chicken or fish. Also the chicken is prepared differently, so don’t expect some chicken-filet or something.

I also notice that the spicy meals are always combined with something sweet as desert. And with sweet I mean sweet.

After a big meal it is common to go to a small stand (shop) to get some Paan. This consist of herbs in a leave which is there in the taste of sweet or tobacco. The last one is not to my liking :) .

Ending this part with the observation that many foods are prepared by frying it. So many stands with big pans filled with hot oil which is then used for almost anything. From fried vegetables (broccoli for instance) to dough (kind of like the Dutch ‘oliebollen’) to chicken, etc.

One of the things I enjoy most are the people around me, but also the common people on the streets with all the diversity.

My colleagues are so friendly and will do everything to make my stay as comfortable as possible. This is not something I am used to and have had difficulties for the first two weeks with this situation. The intentions were so honest and sincere that I pulled it together and after showing them I could manage in this different world it became a great understanding.

One of the nicest comments I have received from my colleagues is that I am a fully integrated Indian. I pickup fast and learn more every day. I have found my rhythm in the second week, eating their foods and integrated in the team (also outside my own team).

The people at the apartment complex have come to know me and now even stop on the roads to say hello. Security of Magarpatta city knows me (no, I am behaving myself ;) ) and also the people at the Gym approach me often.

The people of India are so very curious and so now and then I will be approached by unknown people. One of the most remarkable questions I have received: “what is similar to your country (the Netherlands) and ours (India)?”. The differences are everywhere, but this question had my puzzled.
Besides this they will ask just about anything once they have the courage to.

In general I find the people kind and joint as one. A good example is the Festival Holi in which even the guys hug and dance like nothing I have seen before. The people truly celebrate as one and enjoy it as one.

After submitting to ABS sports in Magarpatta city I have really found my rhythm. I get so much energy from sports and a daily purpose/goal.

Just about every day I got the request to give a kickboxing training (I had mentioned during my submission that I exercise kickboxing). When I had agreed to give a course last Thursday it got canceled due to a double booking of the facility. No training, but the questions are still coming. So perhaps in the near future a second chance. Fun and exciting at the same time.

In the past four weeks I have seen many objects. The updates in this blog show the details and a full view on my experiences. I am not mentioning this a second time, but it is impressive to say the least!
Yes I do need to update all messages still… I am writing as fast as possible ;)

Customer visit
The client visit of Michelle and Bart together with Eddie have made a lasting impression on me. It was special to talk Dutch again in this country and making jokes in my own style.

When I left to India I had the idea I was making my own individual journey and facing my personal challenges. I did not have any regret or missed feelings of home till the departure of their visit. After their departure I felt left behind or more alone then before their visit. I was surprised about these feelings.
Don’t be alarmed, I found my rhythm and challenges again right after, but it did leave a lasting impression.

During the visit we have seen many things of which normally we would not take the time for. We had much one on one contact between the customer and the team members. Some nice diners in which people spoke openly about their experiences. The relation has grown to a new level not only on a business level, but we truly connected. There is a stronger relation now than before which is no longer only established via email or phone. A true advice for all who are involved with outsourcing!