What did you think of the driving there:ugh:
Oh good lord. :lol: Near as I can tell, Indian drivers use their horns much like bats use clicking noises, to navigate. They honk, listen to hear what comes back, and move to where the echoes take the longest to return. One of the guys who manages the office I was working in tried to explain it, on the way back from a bar one night. Basically, he explained you honk three times when you're passing someone - first, to let them know that you're behind them, next to let them know you're drawing level with them, and then again as you pull back in front of them. Of course, he was a sarcastic joker (and cool as shit, one of my favorite people I met out there) so he could have been screwing with me.
Do you feel your trip gave you a different perspective on things? Why or why not?
Man, I could write a book on that. At a very
high level, I'm way less worried about outsourcing having spent time out there than I was before I left, and I'm not at all surprised that almost three years later we haven't been able to move a significant amount of new workload out there. India has a number of world-class universities, but I saw an article in an indian paper while I was there about accredidation - basically, only about 10% even apply, and most fail. I was training a class of MBAs, many of whom were on their second finance job, and I knew far more about the markets than any of them. The focus of Indian education (again, drawing a distinction between the world-class programs and the unaccredited ones) really seemed to be more on process execution (no surprise, since that was what most of the outsourced jobs have historically been), whereas the strength of American institutions, I think, has always been creative thought and problem solving. If anything out of the norm happened, it could bring the team grinding to a halt, whereas even an average analyst in my group was able to think on their feet and move on.
I remember stepping out of the Newark airport when I landed, taking a deep breath, and not being able to believe how clean the air was. That
was probably a first. :lol: There's a lot of first/third world global warming debate and the third world always argues (fairly, I'd thought) that since the first world is richer and emissions are higher per capita, it's our responsibility to take the lead. Spending time in India, where trash is always burning on the sides of the roads, three vehicles out of four are emitting visible exaust, and I never got a burn the whole time I was there save the day I went hiking because the smog was so bad, I completely changed my mind - the developing world has a rare chance that we missed to get their infastructure right in the first place, and even minor changes could make a HUGE difference. I think it's fair to ask the first world to help fund it, but man, even mandatory emissions standards would have gone so much to cleaning up the air in India.
Also, kind of an interesting and slightly disturbing observation - I kept seeing signs posted everywhere advertising help passing exams and training programs (see the Excel Classes ad, next to the man on the bull-drawn carriage) and jobs that didn't require degrees, etc. It took probably a solid half hour before it registered on me that they were all in English, and really what was going on was there was just a high demand for english speakers, and they'd waive pretty much anything if your english was good enough. It's kind of a strange destabilizing influence outsourcing seems to be having...
Who knows, I could go on and on. It was a different world there, and I enjoyed being there (and lOVED the food - indian vegetarian food is easily the best vegetarian food I've ever had, and is better than a lot of non-vegetarian indian cuisine), but it really made me realize I was a New Englander at heart.
Watching the Sox win the World Series on 30-second-refresh on Yahoo Sports, then going into the office and my team having no idea why that was exciting (there's a major cricket tournament every couple months, it seems) was the most homesick I was all trip. :lol: