Dispatch #13 – Greetings from Pune, India
Sadly two bystanders were killed in the riot and there has been a mass exodus of over 10,000 North Indian migrant workers attempting to avoid the violence. It’s all political muckary and foolishiness. Westerners might be confounded by how Indians accept these types of events as being typical of the political environment and if possible won’t let it disrupt their daily routine. It’s all about timing and being well informed.
I weighed all the risks, checked in with my colleagues and friends, monitored the news reports and finally made the decision to trek to Pune. The flight to Bombay and Jet Airways coach ride to Pune was pleasantly uneventful.
I’m glad I made the decision to travel here because it provided another opportunity to confront my notions of safety and security and to see more of the landscape. It’s nice to return to Pune a laid back mid-size city.
The sunny weather of Bombay combined with a comfortable coach ride that included a feature length movie and snacks lulled me into a deep slumber. I almost missed getting off the coach because there weren’t any announcements and the coach attendants seemed reluctant to disturb me.
Jet Airways provided the coach service because the Pune airport is closed for revamping. Passengers were dropped off at various points in the city. I awoke one stop before the last one. And, without missing a beat I got off the coach and boarded an autorickshaw with luggage in tow to my hotel. Voila!
Fifty rupees is equivalent to $1.26 USD. Fifty rupees will purchase a 1-2 mile taxi ride. You KNOW the dollar is weak when the Indian rupee starts gaining on it!