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The Bangalore Report IV – Day 4

Filed Under (Projectplace, Social) by Olle on 19-05-2010

You as a frekvent reader of this blog will notice that day 3 just disappeared, and it actually did, so here comes day 4!

Today me and Ram had one of those conversations again:

Ram: Do you know that Pakistan is gone, it’s Afghanistan now.
Olle: What?
R: Yes, it’s true. Afghanistan is taking over Pakistan.
O: When?
R: In the TT20!
O: What is that.
R: WORLD CUP OF CRICKET!
O: Ohh, how do you mean?
R:  All the cricket players in Pakistan is from Afghanistan!
O: Why?
R: Be course the Afghans have both Afghanistan and Pakistan passports.
O: Ohh, why
R: Well they travel over he border all the time.
O: Why do they do that.
R: Be course they live close to the border. All day long they pass over the border and play cricket in Pakistan. They train cricket, the play matches, they train.. Do you understand? And then they play for for Afghanistan.
O: Well, yes. They play a lot of cricket. But why do they  pass the border to Pakistan to go back into Afghanistan to play.
R: You are not listening to what I am saying!
O: Well, you said that Afghanistan is taking over Pakistan, right?
R: Yes.
O: And you said that  Afghanistan players are playing for Afghanistan.
R: No, for Pakistan.
O: No, you said not.
R: Yes, I did… You don’t listen to me.

So as you can see I have had a great time here in Bangalore, with Ram and the rest of the gang.
But now it’s time to go back home, can’t wait to see the family again, I miss them like hell.

…. if no ash cloud stops everything that is..

The Bangalore Report IV – Day 2

Filed Under (Projectplace, Social) by Olle on 17-05-2010

Finally back in the hotel room at 11pm after a long day.

The day started out by Ram blaming me for all the bad things that happend to him durring my 24 hours in India.
Apparently he had no electricity durring the night, so the AC did not work, leaving the flat hot as hell. Olle to blame, and not the thunderstorms raging all night.
Rams phone ran out of power, and since he uses it as his alarm clock, it did not wake him up on time. Olle to blame.
Rams cow and auto rickshaw incident was also to blame on me.  Finally we reach the office and  Ram manages to scratches the side of his car in a big brick wall when we are about to park… Hmm, now this is what you would call a bad start of the day.
Ram finally calms down when he gets his cup of coffee, and starts to talk about other things. But when it turns out I’m the only one in the office that has Internet access(since I’m not running on the Projectplace network), Ram have had enough. He stands up and screams: “The internet was working fin all last week, the moment you step in to the office, it’s down!”

Other then that a lot of things happend durring the day, both good and not so good things. All I can say is that transparency and honesty will always win in the long run.

When finally Ram let me of at the hotel, I managed to get some dinner in the restaurant before it closed. Somehow I always manage to eat when no one else is eating. Yesterday a couple of hours to early, and tonight a couple of hours to late. Interesting thing, they did not serve any beers tonight in the restaurant.. A white monday they said, ok.

After dinner I talked to the family back home on Skype, but the kids did not want to talk to me since it was Lilla Sportspegeln on Bobster. Well I talked to my wife at least, and she told me that a ash cloud was approaching Sweden. I’m really hoping that this does not become a problem on my trip back to Sweden. But if it does, if I where Ram, I would blame me.

The Bangalore Report IV – Day 1

Filed Under (Projectplace, Social) by Olle on 16-05-2010

Yeah, guess what.. This trip also started with getting up really early and head to the airport.

An interesting thing happend in the check-in line at Arlanda. A group of approximately 50 elderly had encountered some problem at the self-checking machines and was now queuing with the rest of us. I was standing next to a couple where the man was really frustrated that the self-checkin machines did not work when flying with “Solresor”, words like “It’s a disgrace, I say”, “How can it be that the checkin opens first at 05:50. Our flight leaves at 07:30, so much for two hours checkin-in before the flight leaves.”, and “SAS have no service what so ever”. It all escalated when a elderly man, standing somewhere in the front of the que, step out of the line and walked up to a security guard asking him some question I did not hear. The result at least was that the man walked back and placed himself infront of the que and scream to us all, “He had no idea why the self-checking does not work for Solresor. SAS have no service what so ever!!!”
I do hope the trip went well for the gang, and that they could find Swedish coffee at the hotel.

I sleept the hole way to Frankfurt, was fast a sleep when we left Stockholm and woke up when the plain touched down in Frankfurt.
I worked with the XP2010 talk, listend to Johnny Cash while waiting for the connecting flight to Bangalore.

When I entered the Bangalore plane, it hit me that I once more had ended up on row 42, it’s the row where one can not lover the back of the seat. The same row I sat in when I needed to help an elderly woman all the way from Frankfurt to Bangalore. I was pretty upset with myself!
Luckily I had no elderly woman next to me this time, I was placed between a german guy and an indian girl.. All went well, except that I could not bring my laptop up due to cramped space. So the notes I needed to do for the Sunday meeting had to be done on the back of a receipt.
The only mayor problem I encountered was that there where a thunderstorm  located precisely above the Bangalore airport that held the plain circling for 45minutes. The german pilot calmed the passengers with “We still have some gas in the resevers, so it shall not be a problem”. Tip to all of you who are or want to become a pilot, never talk about “gas reserves” and “it shall not be a problem” in the same sentence. A white lie is some times ok!
We eventually landed, after a very bumpy ride

I managed to get through customs with out any problems this time, even though I had two passports with me. My new one, and the old expired one, with holes in it, that holds the visa.
I waited for my bags for 45minutes, and later went out to meet Prasad who had Rams car to pick me up. Rumor says that Ram was out drinking Vodka all night.

Prasad, as always, brought me safely into town and the hotel. He had brought his camera along so I was watching pictures and moves of his wife and from the last ceremony he had take part of in Kerala. (Prasad, if you read this, please paste the link in the comment box to the youtube movies so we all can see them )

Getting to the hotel was great, I was really tired from the flight but I was really pleased to see that the hotel had upgraded me into a two room suite.

After four hours of sleep it was time to get up, got some breakfast and re-wrote the notes found on the receipt. Ram came by the hotel and picked me up. We spent some great hours of talking, walking and lunching in the central parts of Bangalore. Joy and jubilation is all I really can say.

On the way back to the hotel we stopped to get Ram some swimming trunks, and Ram mentioned that he could not swim. I said, yeah yeah, and did not really think more about it. We finally got him some sexy trunks, and drove towards the hotel. That was when it happend, my first car accident in India!

Approximately 1km from the office, I saw a cow standing in the middle of the road somewhat hidden by the car infront of us. I said to Ram, “watch out, theres a cow”. Ram, “softly” steers the car to the left to pass the cow, but all of a sudden we hear this squeaking sounds coming from the back of the car. A auto rickshaw had hit Rams car when he was trying to avoid hitting the cow. It took about 5-6 seconds before Ram realizes what has happend. But when it all had sunk in, Ram turns of the engine in the middle of the road and steps out of the car..The conversation that now occurs between Ram and the auto rickshaw driver I can not repeat here, since it was in Tamil. But I can tell you one thing, it was mostly Ram doing the talking, well not really talking it was something else. Something that is between screaming and talking..really strange.
A cop came walking by and asked Ram to move the car from the middle of the road, and Ram did what he was told. Done, he steps out of the car and continues the monolog with the driver, and all of a sudden he stops. Walks way from the guy, gets into the car and says: “Now you have something for the blog. Ashole”.

We finally got to the hotel, continued the talks we had had all day, and when we where steaming hot we went down to the hotel pool. Now it became clear to me that Ram really can’t swim. If I someday feel sad, I will try to remember how it looks like when Ram dives. That will make me happy for sure.

Ram left after the thunderstorm had calmed down a bit, and I went of to have dinner.
I really really hate eating alone in a restaurant. I almost hate it as much as when someone calls me Sir.
Durring dinner today I was not allowed to bring more rise to the plate, no no. When I tried, all of a sudden a waiter turned up and took the plate away from me. After serving me he went back to his secret hideout to continue the surveillance. The same thing happend when I reached for the bowl of Naan. All this forced me to finish dinner in under 10minutes.

Tomorrow the adventure continues, I can’t wait.

The Bangalore Report III – Day 3

Filed Under (Projectplace, Social) by Olle on 11-03-2010

So, this is my last day in Bangalore for now, and it’s a bit sad but at the same time I really miss the family back home.

Flow of the day:
1. Check out of hotel
2. Wait for Ramesh to pick me up
3. Talk to Ramesh in the car
4. Talk to Ramesh in the office
5. Laugh about things with Ramesh
6. Talk to Ramesh a bit more in Coffee Day.
7. See Deepa and Ganesh succeed in the investigation of @ referencing.
8. Take part in a BBC* news report, a three minute interview about what I think makes a distributed team work.
9. Talk to Ramesh and Blue Star about stuff.
10 und so weiter, und so weiter…

Ramesh has been complaining about headache the complete day, I think it’s due to that he has been forced to think today.

Durring a coffee break with the gang today I got a little more information regarding the “on thursdays the developers don’t eat meat” thing that was reported yesterday . Apparently all the weekdays are somehow connected to a god, so if you are a fan of a specific god you don’t eat meat on that specific day. To add some confusion to this, apparently Saturday is the day for som big god that most people like, so almost no one shall eat meat on Saturdays. Bad news for all restaurants I thought. But Adarsh unfolded the truth to me, apparently there are ways around the “don’t eat meat on the day”. The trick is to have some relative pray a lot, then you can do as you please, even have a steak on a Saturday.

Since me and Ram have had massive amounts of talks today as all other days, we have also had our moments of confusion. The conversation, in Swedish, I have in mind started due to that Meriem had sent the tickets through mail:

Olle: You will arrived late to Stockholm on Tuesday right? Don’t forget to print the ticket for the Alps trip here in Bangalore before you leave.
Ram: No, I’ll come by the Stockholm office.
Olle: Ahha, ok. Yeah then you can print it there.
Ram: Yeah, I’ll be staying at Christophers place and we have plans to go out and buy some moss in the evening.
Olle: Moss? Why do you need moss?
Ram: I have thrown away the one I had!
Olle: But why the heck do you need moss?
Ram: What do you think, I don’t wanna freeze when going to the Alps, all of  you guys wil have moss!
Olle: Oh you mean a hatt of some kind
Ram: What?
Olle: Well you see, “mossa” is moss, and “mössa” is some kind of hatt
Ram: Aaaa, how do you spell that?

Today I also had the chance to talk a bit to Prasad and he had som really happy news. His wife is pregnant in the second month and I’m positive that Prasad will be a really cool dad to a really cool kid who will know how to  drive through the Bangalore trafic at the age of 3.

So, that’s about it really.
Finally me and Ram had lunch now at 9:45PM, better late then never, and I’m mostly waiting for the cab to come and pick me up at 11PM to take me to the airport for the flight that leaves at 03:30AM.
Durring lunch Ram shared the secret with me about how to get upgraded into Business Class. Apparently is just to ask a lot of questions, that can be answered by looking at your ticket, at the checkin counter. But according to Ram, that’s the trick. I will surely try to look really confused tonight!

*Blue Star Broadcasting Company

The Bangalore Report III – Day 2

Filed Under (Projectplace, Social) by Olle on 10-03-2010

Day 2 is over and tomorrow is my final day here in Bangalore. Can’t believe how fast time fly.

Today has been kind of slow on the blog material front, or as Ram put it at 5PM today: “ha, today you will have nothing to write about!”. Due to that comment I have decided to focus this blog post on Ram.

Well the day started as most days do here in Bangalore for me, I get up, eat breakfast(this time out in the sun, really nice) and made sure to be on time when Ram arrived to pick me up. The trip was like always, Ram swearing at the “Yellow Nazis”(that’s auto rickshaw for the rest of the world), while leaning at the horn and trying to miss the cars in front of us.

Today me and Ram have mostly been hanging out together doing a lot of talking and walking. Really not much action. But talking to Ram can sometimes be an adventure. Today we where sitting at the local “Coffee Day”, den having the fourth bubble espresso for the day, discussion on what day Ram had booked the “Star of the Sprint / 70% Coverage Celebration” dinner, since Lisa had re-scheduled the Sprint Meeting. The conversation went like this(image this in Swedish):

Olle: So we have made a reservation tonight, not on Thursday?!
Ram: Yes, tonight!
Olle: But you booked the dinner on Thursday in the calendar?
Ram: No, on Wednesday!
Olle: No, on Thursday.
Ram: No tonight!
Olle: No, see here(showing my phone). It’s booked on Thursday.
Ram: Probably a bug, we will have the dinner tonight!
Olle: But does the gang know about this?
Ram: Yeah, probably!
Olle: Probably? But who made the reservation?
Ram: Jojo or Adarsh I think.
Olle: But how can we know that they know its tonight?
Ram: They know!
Olle: Ok, but still, why can’t we have the dinner tomorrow?
Ram: It’s Thursday, so they do not eat meat!
Olle: What? Is it some religious thing that happens on Thursdays?
Ram: Think so.
Olle: One every Thursday?
Ram: No, don’t think so, just this one
Olle: Well, they do not need to eat meat!
Ram: If they go out and eat they must eat meat!
Olle: But aren’t they vegetarian?
Ram: No, just me and Ganesh.
Olle: Ohh

So this is the kind of conversation me and Ram always seem to end up in, it’s kind of fun when one looks back at it.

Well the dinner was reserved by Adarsh. Adarsh seems to be the guy when it comes to reservations, mostly due to that he is the one who is the most picky when it comes to restaurants. Adarsh has one demand, and not all restaurants can live up to that, and the demand is Buffet! Adarsh would never ever set his foot in a restaurant without a buffet, and with this demand he has become the natural booker of dinner reservations in the team.

Once more Adarsh selected the excellent Barbecue Nation where we celebrated Supritha and Ganesh(a draw this month) as worthy Stars of the Sprint and we also celebrated the great effort of 70% Coverage in the last Sprint. Way to go!

We (the non vegetarians that is) all ate great hot food(Adarsh won) and some of us(Adarsh) even managed to have several cakes as dessert. After dinner some of us(Adarsh) had problems walking out of the restaurant due to the massive amount of food we had eaten.

After dinner we got stuck outside the restaurant a while since Ram needed some Indian snus. A word of warning, never ever try it, it burns big holes in your throat.
After we had said good by to all, and Adarsh left on his motor cycle with this helmet nicely hanging on the back of the bike; me, Ram, Durgesh and Jojo went back towards the office in Rams car. Luckily me and Jojo used the belts where we where sitting in the backseat, since Ram had a 100% hit rate of all road bumps on the way back. Ram’s comment to this, when me and Jojo notified him about our bouncing in the back of the car, was that his new car “has shitty shock absorbers”.

Tomorrow the adventure continues in the land of double parking holy cows(check out twitter/olled for proof).

The Bangalore Report III – Day 1

Filed Under (Projectplace, Social) by Olle on 09-03-2010

So the trip started the same way as always, the alarm trashed my dreams at 03:40. The Taxi arrived at 04:00, driven by the most talkative cab driver I ever met. Arriving at Arlanda was kind of a relief.
But I sure hope the family issues sortens it self out for the cabby.

I shared the flight to Frankfurt with the Argentinien DC team, I think I even satt next to one of the players. He looked like it at least, really good looking with long black hair and a big bag of tennis rackets. I managed to sleep and hour on the flight.

Arriving at Frankfurt my first task, after checking e-mails, was trying get a window seat for the flight to Bangalore. I had been seated in a middle seat and I was not looking forward to the long flight squeezed between two people. But I was out of luck since the Business Class was over booked, so they needed the good seats in Monkey Class (in other words the window seats) to move the Business people to. So I was stuck between, I hoped, two tiny frequent flyers who mostly would sleep.

Well I did not get two tiny frequent flyers, but two large versions of the same, one German and one American. The American guy worked for Cap Gemini in Pittsburgh as some sales guy going down to Bangalore with some customer to meet the teams in Bangalore and Mumbai. We had great talks regarding his experience working with skilled Indian developers and finance people, hockey, the Olympics and the massive amount of snow some parts of the world have received this winter.
The only thing I heard from the German guy was a “Hallo”.

The flight from Frankfurt was delayed with an hour due to that one of the engines didn’t start the normal way, so they had to start it manually. What?

Due to my “stuckness” in the middle, the amount of sleep I got was very limited.

I was a bit nervous about the my encounter with the Indian customs, but to my surprise all went very well.
After I had managed to get through the first Passport/Visa/Are-You-Carrying-Any-Deadly-Virus section of the customs, I took an extra minut or two, while waiting for the luggage, to see how the really experienced got through the last part of customs, the give-the-little-papper-to-customs-guy part.

My analysis was that one needs to walk really fast, ignore any form of queues, and look like you have done this hundreds of times before and simply give the little paper-thing to the customs guy and just keep on walking. So my strategy was clear, but everything was destroyed when I got my bag.
The thing was that I had planed to use the small bag we have at home, but just before the taxi came to take me to the airport I realized that the bag had no lock, so I quickly grabbed our big bag instead. What I had failed to notice, in the bad morning light, was that the Mark of Customs(the white cross feared by travelers of the air) was still shining bright on both the back and the front of the bag since my last visit to Bangalore.

So my plan to look confident failed badly! But I managed to place my laptop bag on top of one of the crosses and I passed through the last Customs defense successfully!

Ram was waiting for me outside the Airport to bring me to the hotell. But unfortunately he had managed to upset two people working on the parking lot, so before we could leave, we needed to talk to some parking lot manager so that Ram would not get a 6000 rupe fine. That’s my Ram! Well I guess it’s easy to upset people at 2AM.

After a bumpy and long drive into Bangalore Ram finally dropped me of at the hotel at 04:00. I checked in and to my surprise I had gotten a bigger room then the one I had reserved. Later I have found out that Prasad of Blue Star had called the hotel, urging them to upgrade me. He’s simply too kind!

Tuesday

The wakeup called at 07:40, and I managed to drag myself down to breakfast. After a while Ram came by to pick me up, and we, by gods grace, made our way to the office.

At the office it was great to meet the gang again, we chatted about stuff for an hour or so before everyone got into coding stuff.
An interesting fact is that Durgesh and Jayesh always sync the big things in life, they buy cars at the same time, buy apartments at the same time, and will have babys at the same time.. Really strange, but it seems to work for them. Great!

Work for me have mostly been looking and thinking about Excel/Numbers sheets, talking to Ram and having meetings with Blue Star people.

Besides that I have had my first real encounter with website blockers today. Places like Twitter.com, Facebook.com, Craigmod.com and translate.google.com have all been blocked for me a couple of time today. Rams calls someone, they fix it for a couple of hours, the blocking comes back, Ram calls…. yeah you get the picture.
It’s really really bad, I really noticed how dependent one is one access to the Internet.

At 8PM me and Ram left the office, Ram was a bit pissed of due to massive traffic, but we made it. If they had bounty on auto rickshaw here in Bangalore, Ram would be first in line to sing up.

I had dinner at the hotel and wrote this.
I’m really impressed by how smooth this trips is going, not stuck in customs, no stuck in elevators.. no nothing..Hope it lasts.

Shoreline

Filed Under (Social) by Olle on 21-12-2009

I always somehow tend to come back to this song somehow

Ever since I was eight or nine
I’ve been standing on the shoreline
always waiting
for something lasting
loose your hunger, you loose your way
get confused and you fade away

oh this town
kills you when you are young
oh this town
kills you when you are young

I’m not the boy I used to be
this town has got the youth of me
all eyes turn hollow
from the work of sorrow

standing on the paving
by the office building
they’ve got so much to do
never time for you

we are shadows
oh we’re shadows
shadows in the alley

you die when you’re young
you die when you’re young
you die when you’re young

The Bangalore Report II – Day 3

Filed Under (Projectplace, Social) by Olle on 09-11-2009

So the third day is to it’s end, and I’m really starting to miss my family! And I can tell you, eating alone it not healthy. I even tried to contact an American who was sitting eating at the table next to me durring dinner.  I said to him “Oh my, that looks really good, what is it?”, his answer was: “Shrimps!”. Fine, I know when to back of.

Well, today started as most of the days here in Bangalore starts, Ram picked me up at the hotel at 08:00 and we drove down the crazy streets of Bangalore to the office. I really think Ram has taken my previous report to his heart, he used the breaks at least four times and the horn only like 15times on the way to office. This is true improvement.

At the office Ram got an hour or two with his friend GWT. Me, I also did something, I’m certain, but I can not really recall what it was.
At 11 we hade a great workshop on Initiatives(again) and SMART Goals, we hade some great discussion and I also finally understod how the heck I get the Presenter Screen on my Macbook and not on the projector. Why the heck have Apple decided that the default setting shall be Presenter Screen on the alternative display? Well, the meeting went really well and since I’m talking about the Bangalore team, talking about initiatives is just like pouring gazoline on an open fire. It’s great. We even managed to reach four Q4 SMART goals for the Bangalore Team.

After the meeting it was time for me and Jojo to take part in the Steering group meeting and the rest of the team went of for lunch. It’s kind of cool that it’s really easy to take part in a “committee that decides on the priorities or order of business of an organization and manages the general course of its operations”(according to Apple Dictionary) while being thousands of miles away for the office. The coolest thing is that it is possible to make funny faces durring the meeting without any one knowing(well, except Jojo that is). On my previous trips to Bangalore I know I have reported on the screaming Scrum Master in Stockholm(a behavior we are used to know), but today me and JoJo found out that the screaming Scrum Master also always spells out load everything she writes. In the normal case this is not a problem I guess, but when you participate in a meeting through Skype and the Online Meetings found in Projectplace, thinks become somewhat strange.. We heard everything that was being written before we could see it on the screen, and it was also somewhat hard to hear anyone else in Stockholm since notes was take constantly durring the meeting.. Great fun!

In the afternoon Jojo also booked some meetings with three different developers to strengthen our frontend knowledge here in Bangalore. The first meeting will start at 9AM and the last will end around 1:30PM, so we got our hands full tomorrow. I’m felling really positive about the meetings, it will be great. We will not have a normal formal interview, but instead first talk a bit with the developer, and after that we will hack together to get a better feel for the person, how he thinks about the code, how he explains his ideas and how he behaves in the par programming situation etc etc.. But we need to cut the guys a bit of slack, just imagine yourself coming to a intervju to code with me, Ram and Jojo.. I’d be scared shitless.. But we only want the best, so we will try it this time!

One of the biggest drawbacks with being in another timezone, and working with people in a different one, is that the people in the other timezone don’t understand that the other person is in another timezone.. You get what I mean? An example: At 20:39 The Rose calls me on iChat. First he softens me up with asking how things are and such before he goes in for the kill. The question is if I can have a look at some script, we don’t know which, that makes the css render a bit strange for Safari certain cases. Thanks a bunch dude.. But he promised me that he would shout bad words, mostly popular names of the male reproductive organs, loud and clear in the office if I fixed it. Unfortunately a lame VPN setting hindered me from helping The Rose, big failure, we will have a second go tomorrow!

After work Ram drove me back to the hotell, and this was the first time I really thought about what happend in Mumbai, the terror attack,  durring a previous visit in Bangalore. It sent shivers down my spine. Outside my hotel they look under every car with these big handheld mirrors before you can pass, they have metal detectors infront of the entrance and security that always goes through my bag looking for guns or such. It’s really scary when you think about it. My reaction was somewhat strange though, I asked the serious security guard going through my bad. “what is the most peculiar thing you have found”. The security guard did not answer.

Interesting fact nr 1: Today durring lunch Prasad of Blue Star gave me some wedding tips(even though he knows I’m married and all). Apparently down here in India it’s tradition that the woman get’s a lot of gold as wedding presents from friends and family, and the trick is to wed a woman from a specific religion(I wont’ say, since it’s my secret). According to well know facts the followers of this religion always get’s the most gold, Prasad even sent me pictures as proof, and I believe him! I can’t understand how they even have the power to stand up, it’s a massive amout.

Interesting fact nr 2: Ram is talking a lot about his cousins, so today in the car from the office, I had to ask him how many cousins he really has. “22″ he said. “What, 22..22!. Are you sure it’s 22?” I said. He said: “well it’s a lot at least. 17 lives in the states.”

The Bangalore Report II – Day 2

Filed Under (Projectplace, Social) by Olle on 08-11-2009

Todays report will be a short one.

After a good nights sleep the day started with a trip throughout town together with Ram and Prasad.
We where on the lookout for some christmas gifts, mostly for the kids. Durring our trip I got to see a Panasonic TV that showed everything in 3d, really cool shit.

Due to the constant raining it felt somewhat of an adventure. I got to see parts of Bangalore that I have not seen before, the really poor parts. The mix of really poor and really rich people here in Bangalore is scary.

After a couple of hours shopping, or mostly riding the car really, me and Ram hade a nice lunch and watched the last part of the cricket game between India and Australia. Well Ram refused to watch since India really sucked, but I kind of enjoyed it when Ram hade explained the rules.

After lunch Ram was longing for his new found friend GWT, so we walked back to the office.
I also finished up some stuff that needed to be done, mostly mailing people that is. And all of a sudden the time was 7:45PM and it was really time to leave the office, and that was really the end of the day.

I’m really looking forward to meet the rest of the team tomorrow, we will make sure it’s a good day!

[Update 22:47]
Now most of you will probably think that I’m lying, but this is a true story.
When I was writing this report, it felt strange to do it so early(8PM local time), the normal is a bit later, and normally more things happen durring a day in India. But I was convinced that this was it, until I realized that I needed to go down to the hotel restaurant and eat something.
Earlier today I told Ram that the electricity died like five times yesterday, and that it was a drag when I was watching the soccer game. You know, I hade to find back to the right channel and all.

But today after finishing the report, and after a not so very eventful day, I got stuck in the hotell elevator not once but twice!
I hade forgotten all about yesterday and the mode swings the electricity has here, so I plainly walked into the elevator, and placed my room key-card on the reader to go down to the restaurant. At the same time the power died, first I thought that I hade done something wrong, but soon remembered the mood swings. I knew from yesterday that the power usually comes back within a minute or so, and so it also did this time. The elevator started to move to the -1 level, probably some safety stuff, and the door opened.

But now I did something really strange, I stepped out of the elevator, just to walk straight back in again. Why did I not take the stairs, when I know that the power seems to die repeatedly and quite close in time? Well,  I put my key-card on the reader to go up this time. But to my surprise the power dies again just when I’m in between ground floor and the basement. This time I needed to wait a little longer, but not more the 3-4 minutes.

Ps, It worked the third time! ds.

The Bangalore Report II – Day 1

Filed Under (Projectplace, Social) by Olle on 07-11-2009

So I’m back in Bangalore!

The trip started out fine, at 03:50 I left the house heading for the airport.
My son, asked me the previous night why I always need to be away in India all the time, so it was not the happiest camper who boarded the flight to Frankfurt.

Frankfurt was the same, durring my three hour wait I spent some time looking at the Javascript unit tests again. It’s really strange, but these small tests is such a joy to work with. In Frankfurt I also started with the review of the upcomming book by Ellnestam, it surely is promising!

On the flight to Bangalore I got the seat dead last in the plane, and there was no space at all to bring out the laptop, so I keept on reading the coming book in the iPhone. I promise the my laser eyes sharp are not created for this.
The woman next to me was an elderly indian woman who was somewhat lost. Durring the flight I helped with for instance opening her food, holding here cup of water, opening/closing the seatbelt etc etc. She was really sweet, I think, since she was constantly speaking to me in a language I did not understand.

Arriving in Bangalore was a relief, since me and the elderly woman hade run out of topics to talk about.
In Bangalore they have upgraded their fight agains the svin flue since my last visit, they now have heat-seeking-cameras instead of doctors. Bangalore is really high tech! The only issue with this new high tech solution was that no one was watching the tv’s that showed the heat signatures. Maybe the tv’s where there to show the visitors that India hade the heat under control?
Well at least customs went well this time. When I finally got my bag, after an hour of waiting, it had a big white X on top of it. I know since last visit that this is the sign of a smuggler, and that it’s time to pay. So I tried to put my laptop on top of the big white X and went towards customs looking as confident as I could. My only misstake was that I hade missed the second X on the side of the bag, so of course I got taken by customs.

Thanks to my charm and intelligence I managed to convince the customs guy, after explaining that the great state of India probably did not mind me bringing in socks, shirts or laptop chargers, to let me through. And this even without having to pay the bribe. I felt really good when I was walking out of customs knowing that that I hade managed to sneak through the second laptop that I had in my hand luggage. Success! I hade finally beaten the Indian customs, and who are they to treat me as a smuggler?

Prasad, as always, was waiting for me ready to take me to hotel. On the way into town, on the for once empty streets of Bangalore, we talked about the TED conference(TED India is held in Bangalore this weekend), about new car models, that Prasad could talk in his native tongue to Samuel and such.
Prasad told me a story he hade heard about Toyota. Toyota hade launched a new model in India some time back in 2003 , the same time as when the offshoring of  support centras hade really taken of here in Bangalore. So a lot of the new support centras bought the new 8 seater Toyota model to be used as transportation of the employees between their homes and the offices, since they were working shifts all through the night. Unfortunately the drivers at the support centras drove like they hade stolen the cars and where involved in a lot of fatal car accidents. The Toyota car started to be referred to as a “killer car”. So Toyota decided to remove the brand new model from the Indian market, the car hade sold like “butter in sunshine”(thanks for the translation Google Translate), but Toyota did not want to smear the Toyota brand with a “killer car”. A story that surely makes one think.

After 4.5 hour of sleep I woke up at the hotel, and it’s really a nice one. Breakfast consisted of boring bacon and egg, I do not what to give the belly-bug a chance to get a grip on me. After breakfast Ram came by and picked me up to go the office.
And now something about Ram, Ram has after 1.5 years in India gone back to being 100% Indian, at least he drives and walks 100% like an Indian! He breaks for nobody, like the space balls. An example, we are closing in on the most crowded traffic junction in India(at least it felt so), and Ram refuses to break, he just turns.. By magic we made it to the office.
An other example is me and Ram crossing the street from the office to local coffee shop, Ram just walks straight out in traffic, taking me by the shoulder saying “fuck it, no problem”. The funny part is that we made it cross the street, so maybe the Indians know something the rest of the world don’t know(maybe that is was Martin Fowler really is talking about). I will test this new driving and walking technic first chance I get when I’m back in Sweden.

The interview that was planned to be held today was unfortunately canceled, due to that the poor guy we where to meet was involved in a car accident on his way from Chennai to Bangalore for the interview. Luckily he apparently was not badly injured, and hopefully we will get a chance to meet him before I leave.
So instead me and Ram spent the day talking, we hade some really good discussions and we also managed to fix a WEBDAV bug.

Kashif and Appa Rao came by the office as well, great to see them again. Appa even stayed to re-test his Google Analytics work he have been doing the past week. Unfortunately the data was not correctly submitted, but together we managed to fix the bug and also re-factor a smal part of the source code. Kaizen MF!

At 7:30PM I was ready for dinner, but Ram was not even close since he hade some bug in GWT that needed attention. But through the power of me outranking him, I persuaded him to close the computer and take me to dinner. Appa stayed behind since he was about to test “one-more-thing”!

Projectplace Bangalore is something special, it’s 10 highly skilled people with a never give up attitude, I feel really blessed knowing them!

Me and Ram hade dinner at my hotel, and a nice one it was(I think that I might have let the belly-bug in under my shield). We continued our talks and enjoyed the elevator/Las Vegas style music in the restaurant.

After dinner me and Ram called it a day, Ram drove his car home and I wrote this.

[Update] ESPN is showing the Arsenal game, success!