Sunday, 2 November 2008

Arrival in Anand

The travel on Emirate Airways went well. Some of us could get a bit of sleep, others were reading ("Cultureshock", as a preparation for the experiences in India), others were enjoying the selection 100s of video-on-demand movies. We arrived in the morning, 8:30 local time. The driver from the university was already there, and we squeezed into the Toyota: 6 passengers and one driver, on two seat rows.

After a drive of 90 minutes on a motorway, sometimes shared with pedestrians, lots of moped drivers, and sometimes herds of cows, we arrive in Anand, a town about 100km SE of Ahmedabad. We will stay at the guest house of the Sardar Patel University in Vallabh Vidyanagar.

After a brief break, we have a meeting at the university with our hosts Dr. Rajendrasinh Jadeja, Director of the H M Patel Institute, and Dr. Falguni Bharateeya, Head of the English Department, where the program for the next days is being discussed. Our organisational contact is Asha Makhecha (from the Faculty of Business) who had been setting up the meetings, and who showed us around so that we would find our way here in Vallabh Vidyanagar. It turns out that on Monday and Tuesday there is a conference held at the university: "Creativity and Literature". We agree to participate and give a few talks to the participating students.

One problem is the availability of internet: there is one PC in the computing lab which has Internet connection, but for some reason the Ethernet cable does not work with my laptop - no connection is shown. Our host will try to resolve this in the next days, but for now I cannot send out blog entries or emails.

In the evening we have a dinner at a local restaurant, and afterwards we are invited to Asha Makhecha's home for a tea.

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