Yesterday afternoon we got to Coimbatore. At the airport, we were welcomed by Kabi, the local representative of the CDS agency IBM is working with and professor Alagarsamy, who will be our local logistics coordinator here in Coimbatore for our entire stay. Also our final team mate, Amanda was there, who had just arrived from an exhausting 40 hour trip from Buenos Aires.
Already driving from the airport to the hotel I could see that Coimbatore is so different from Mumbai. It seemed a lot more prosperous and less busy. We received a very warm welcome from Kevin, the hotel manager. My room is nice, overlooking the pool, that is for the moment infested with algae (nice link to our water hyacinth topic, but less difficult to get rid off… ). But they will work on it.
In the afternoon the professor took us for a walk around the neighborhood, so we don’t get lost on our own. When having to cross a street he’d nonchalantly stick out his arm to stop the cars and make us all cross. Not sure whether I’ll ever dare to cross the street on my own though.
This morning we had our first real group session with everyone talking about him/herself. It was pretty intense, but also fascinating to hear about everyone’s background. Time flew and before we knew it we had spent about 4.5 hours together. In the meantime, Mamtha Sharma from the Indian IBM CSC team had arrived. She will also be present for the first meeting with our clients tomorrow. With three rikshaws and one taxi we went to lunch for some typical South Indian food – thali. As most Indian foods thosa is eaten with the right hand only. First we used a chapati to eat the more solid dishes. Afterwards the rest of the sauces are mixed with rice (by your own hand). Apparently, the trick is to press rice into little chunks and shove them in your mouth. This was my first try, so things got a little messy. Gaston, my team mate, made an embarrassing video of us trying to eat thali. I will try to post the link later.
Now it’s back to work! Saken, Cordula and I will have to prepare the meeting with your client tomorrow. It will be exciting to meet them!