Namaste! Late last night I arrived in Mumbai (India) after spending most of last week in the Netherlands. This is my first time in India. It does not happen often anymore that I am in a country for the first time, and I am always excited when I get to see a new culture. India has not disappointed me so far. Yes, it is dirty, it is poor, it is busy everywhere and it’s warm and humid (it’s monsoon here), but I was prepared for that and overall I like the atmosphere. People smile and (a big difference with China) most people speak English.
This country has a big potential, but a lot of things will first have to be changed, especially the infrastructure. As an example, we (I am here with one of the founders of Spill Group) walked into a train station this afternoon, and it was just plain dirty. Trains were totally worn-out, and looked like they would fall apart. I could not find any signs where trains would be going, and they seemed to leave without any announcement. In the Sunday Times I read just now that some of the train stations in Mumbai were flooded because of the monsoon, not only the tracks but even the platforms!
We are staying at a nice 5-star boutique hotel, the Marine Plaza. Our rooms overlook the Arabian sea, which was a big surprise when I opened my curtains this morning (we arrived after midnight last night when it was pitch dark outside). Rooms are big, with a separate dressing room and a luxurious bath room. Their is a nice rooftop swimming pool, with a good view over the bay and part of the city. One of our business partners in India recommended it to us, and it was a good choice.
Not sure how busy the coming week will be, but I will try to post updates here every now and then. Twitter will likely even have more regular updates (I plan to blog about Twitter soon, for people who don’t know it yet). You can follow me there at http://twitter.com/marcvanderchijs