My Trip To India And Australia: Part 8 – SIM Cards, Status, And Sights
By the time you read this, I’ll be en-route from Gurgaon India to Melbourne Australia via Dubai. But I’d like to tie up some loose ends before talking about what’s up next for me.
First, let me cover the issue of using my iPhone 5S in India. As always, I recommend that you get an unlocked phone so that you can use a local SIM card when you travel because if you pay what the “big three” telcos in Canada want you to pay for roaming fees, you’ll pay too much. Way, way too much. Granted, you’ll lose access to your Canadian number. But you will save lots of money. In my case, the company that I am working for this week provided me a nano-SIM from Airtel for my iPhone 5s. Apparently it is a pay as you go SIM pre-loaded with 500 INR on it. That’s about $10 Canadian and I haven’t had any issues making phone calls or getting my e-mail. If you want to grab a SIM card of your own when you come to India, and you’re landing at Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi, there is an Airtel shop in the airport that can hook you up.
Now over to the status part. I found out a day or two ago that I am classified at the hotel as a “VVIP” which stands for “Very Very Important Person” which explains why I get special treatment from being queue hopped to people tripping over themselves to do anything from carry my bags to clean my room multiple times a day. Plus, every employee in the hotel bows towards me when I approach them and refers to me by name. I have to admit that I am a guy who would rather just go in, do my job and leave. I’m not the sort that goes for this treatment so I am kind of taken aback that someone sees me as being this important to warrant this level of treatment. After all, I am not someone like Barack Obama. I’m just an IT Nerd from Canada.
Third, let me cover the sights. I did mention previously that I am being dissuaded from touring the city. But that hasn’t stopped me from snapping some random pictures of the city of Gurgaon from the car that takes me back and forth from the hotel as well as out of the windows of the office that I am working from and from the hotel:
This is the building that the company I was working for this week is located:
There’s a few more pictures that I’d like to show you: When I work in my hotel room, this is my setup. Behind and to the left of my MacBook Pro, you can see my Olixar Travel Adapter With 4 USB Ports plugged in and charing my Belkin Travel Power Pack 9000. Further to the left, you can see the black case that holds my Western Digital 1TB Elements External Hard Drive which I am using to back up my computer. I am finding that a backup only takes less than 10 minutes and is as simple as plugging in the drive and waiting for a prompt to appear which asks me if I want to back up my computer. Several of you asked for a picture of the guard house and gate that is at the hotel. So here it is.
Here’s a better shot of the pool. It seems the pigeons are making better use of it than the guests. The entire time I was here, I never saw a human use it.
Here’s the workout room which aided my attempts to get back into shape. I am making incremental improvements in my cardio. Too bad my weight loss isn’t as going as fast as I would like. But any improvement is better than none at all.
Now, many readers have expressed concern that I am in a dangerous situation. I would say that I can understand your concern given what I have written so far. I do not feel that I am though at times I wonder if all the precautions that have been taken by the company I’m working for are required. This Wikipedia article combined with the fact that India has had previous brushes with terrorism suggests that they might be. It was certainly accurate when it comes to the frequent power outages as there were five on the day I left. But I will also say this. Everyone that I have interacted with at my hotel or the company I am working for this week has gone out of their way to make me feel welcome. Also, at no point did I feel that I was in any danger. I absolutely have no complaints about the way things have gone this week and the way I’ve been treated. The only thing that I regret is not seeing more of India other than what I’ve documented here. All that means is that I will have to return to do so.
Finally, I did get a case of “Delhi Belly.” Fortunately It passed in 24 hours. That’s a good thing.
The next part of this travelogue will detail my trip from Indira Gandhi Airport in New Delhi to Dubai, then from Dubai to Melbourne Australia. It’s a total of 16 hours in the air plus a layover of a few of hours in Dubai. So it will a long day on Friday. Watch for that update this weekend. Once I get my bearings back from flying for that long.