Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Heading to India

I'm heading to India on Friday, to teach my Java for C++ Programmers class. One of my training customers has offices all over the world, and the India office is next on the rotation. I feel like I've won the outsourcing lottery -- outsourcing is now putting money in my pocket.

Fortunately, my customer is springing for a business class ticket (which is effectively a first class ticket, as the only airline that runs a nonstop from the US to Delhi, Continental, merged their business class and first cabins into "BusinessFirst", and on the international flights BusinessFirst compares to first on other airlines.) The nonstop NY-DEL is approximately 14 hours, which shaves 5h off the "change planes in Europe" options.

A business class ticket to India costs approximately 6K; a coach ticket costs 1-1.5K. If I had the choice of buying the coach ticket and pocketing the difference, would I? Not sure. On the one hand, I wouldn't pay 4.5K out of my own pocket to upgrade, but on the other hand I might just not go if it meant flying coach. It's a long trip.

Getting a visa turned out to be somewhat of a hassle. Apparently, standard procedure for getting a visa involves sending your ORIGINAL passport to the foreign consulate, and hoping that they send it back in time (and don't lose it.) I used an expediter service to process it, which reduced the hassle factor, and they also rented me a local cell phone to take with me, which was pretty convenient.

After the training is over, I should have about three days to sightsee. That gives me a day each in Agra, Jaipur, and Delhi. I don't know what to expect, but it should be interesting.

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