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Welcome to India

Christiane has kindly allowed me to translate her blog entries about her recent trip to India.

Willkommen in India (Original German text)

Welcome to India

Okay, I’ve arrived. I’m in my hotel room and don’t know when I’ll be able to get this blog entry online. Everything here is terribly circuitous. Transportation. porters, checking in at the hotel, and not least getting connected to the WLAN. For that you need some card that of course I don’t have.

I didn’t see much of Bangalore, even though the trip from the airport to the hotel was pretty long. There are very high sidewalks – in fact, the word “sidewalk” is an exaggeration. Surfaces that exist primarily to slow pedestrians down. Then there are houses that are falling down, but people live in them and they’re not so destroyed that they can’t be covered in ads. Crowded against them are the glass palaces of corporations. I’ve already seen two Deutsche Bank buildings.

There don’t seem to be any traffic laws here at all. Traffic lights are just for decoration; you hit the horn when you think you’ve got the right of way. The hotels has its idiosyncracies, too. Everyone has to surrender his/her passport; it’s photocopied and then your room is revealed to you in an obscure manner. This takes about 30 minutes. Because everyone’s first name and last name have been switched, the man at the reception desk is always calling “Mister Hans” or “Mister Jens”. I figured this out right away and gave my name the other way around. As a result, I am “Misses Link”. My room isn’t really barrier-free, but I’ll manage for the two nights. If I climb over the toilet I have a chance of getting to the bathtub. In front of the hotel are 1000 steps, but I came in through the underground garage. The hotel belongs to Le Meridien. It’s not only here in India that they’re not barrier-free. Even in the brand new Le Meridien in Hamburg all areas aren’t barrier-free. In the whole world I don’t know of a single “Le Meridien” that can really be called barrier-free.

I was surprised at how well de-planing went. There were seven (!) people there to haul me out of the plane, and even an airbridge. From plane to car I didn’t encounter a step. Same for the airport itself. There was an elevator and ramps everywhere. I even saw an accessible restroom. I’m going to sleep now – it’s already 3 am.

Katja

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