For our penultimate event we moved South to Bangalore. The drive to the airport was horrendous, for once the road was clear but our driver decided that meant he could drive at 120km/h even when taking bends, I have laughed at my inability to accept this traffic but on this occasion I was actually in tears, thanks to Tim and Hans for keeping me sane (just).
The flight was uneventful except it was a very hard landing at Bangalore airport in a small propeller plane.
The journey to the hotel was pretty much the best journey we have had, a new modern highway, a very good car and driver from our hotel; however he then asked us if we were doing any shopping and we told him we planned to go into the city the next evening, he said there was now a new branch of that shop (general souvenirs) on this side of town and it would be better if we went that evening. We knew it was a scam, but what the hell, eyes wide open we went into the new shop (about 50 years old) and haggled our way through to a decent price (remember I am being assertive on this trip). The roads to this new shop were not roads but tracks, and interestingly despite an area to park we found our taxi hemmed in as we left the shop and he had to go in to get the other driver to move his car, if I was cynical I could suggest the situation was manipulated for him to go in and get his cut. I share this story because I found it quite amusing, but it is not characteristic of the people we have met, the politeness we have come across in India has been lovely.
Anyway we stayed at the Marriott which is a wonderful hotel and has a beautiful pool, I like to swim in hotel pools but so far had not managed it. The pool had a water feature which drowned out traffic noise. The water was much colder than I expected but it was lovely.
Originally I was not staying for Bangalore and Chennai but things changed, I have sessions in Chennai but there were none available for Bangalore, the local AIOUG team had managed to source several local speakers, which is so important for user groups. I did still however go along to support.
At the start of each event we talk about the importance of OTN, The ACE Program and User Group membership, and when it was my turn I said I was not speaking but was available all day if anyone wanted to talk Apps. It was brilliant, I had people come to me during most sessions to ask questions, most were about the tech stack but a few were from people who follow my blog etc, and were surprised to find me at this event as it had obviously not be advertised. I felt great, and worthy of my place on the tour.
Hans left us after this event, and today Tim and I travel to the last venue Chennai, were they tell us the food is most spicy and the weather the hottest.