Tuesday, September 15, 2009

India Trip

The trip to Rourkela, Orissa, India was a major one for me.
Usually I look forward to going to my little jaunts. This time, I felt very sad to leave the family. The travel to India itself was uneventful, except for the waiting and waiting at the airports. Was met at Kolkata by Bikash and things moved smoothly.
Why was I there? I was the invited keynote speaker at the International Conference on Marketing 2009 organized by the Rourkela Institute of Management and Information Sciences (RIMS). I was also a speaker at a session on creativity as well as a chairperson for the cross-cultural marketing session.
The travel (2 days) was tiring but the conference was excellently organized. I must however mentioned the issue of Indian time, where speakers were not following the time limits and the chairpersons were not controlling the flow, thus providing headaches for the organizers. Nevertheless overall it was well done. There was some discussion, but time was limited.
I also must mention that at times I felt mollycoddled, as there was someone always at my beck and call, a shadow, following my every move, constantly asking what I need. Its very flattering but I am not used to that as I am rather independent. Nevertheless it was good to have someone as a guide, as I would be lost.
Made new friends, of whom I hope to be able to work with on a project or two. Also met 2 old friends from Mumbai and Otago.
The food was excellent. A variety of Indian dishes. The evening shows were wonderful. See the photos on my Facebook and the videos earlier. I find it easier to upload the pics on FB rather than here, as there are a ton of photos... and so many stories, which when I have the time I will tell.
Unfortunately, I was travelling light and as usual can never really find nice small souvenirs in India. Managed to buy 2 boxes of Masala tea, which I enjoy (should have bought more... but how to carry?) and a rather heavy fridge magnet.
The trip back home had me worried, as JET Airway pilots were on strike, and I couldn't really sleep on my last night. We travelled and things turned out good. Of all things, upon reaching Malaysia, it was Air Asia that cancelled its flight and had to wait a few more hours for the flight back to Kuching.
It was a journey. It was also good.
Ernest
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