Mystical London. We were finally here. After a long 10 hour flight we got a chance to have a great aerial view of London, thanks to the air traffic. Our plane was going around the city till it got a clearance for landing. This gave us a nice 20 minute ride over London. I must say, right from way up above, the city looked way too beautiful. It is very well organized in terms of planning and usage of space available. The best part is, the city has retained a lot of greenery with all the development going around which is awesome. (Other countries should really take lead to follow London.)
Heathrow airport was way too big and very well maintained. I am sure there would be bigger and cleaner airports around the world, but for a guy who just came in from the Mumbai airport – this was huge difference.
The weather seemed good and manageable when I got out of the plane. All the talk about the temperatures hovering around 10 deg seemed too much of hype. But this changed as soon as I got out of the airport. Just as I stepped out, there was this blast of cold air which hit me. It was a nice surprise. It sent a shiver down my spine! First thing I did was to grab the jacket and wear it. I have never been in places with temperatures so less. It was a nice experience though. J
The first thing I noticed when I came out of the airport was this child clinging on to his mother arm and chattering away to glory. He had that typical English country look. That’s when it really hit me that I was actually out of India in another foreign land. Till then all seemed as though I was on a small weekend trip just a few miles away from home. But I am out here for a big reason, Hot House. Lot of work in stall. Lots of stuff to be proved, lots to be learnt. London was not our final destination of the day. We had to take the road to travel around 2-3 hours more to reach a place called Ipswitch. That’s where the actual work was going to be.
One of my senior who was already onsite had arranged for the travel for all of us. We get out of the airport and we see this huge Merc SUV standing waiting for us. We wasted no time to get into this mean machine and off we went. The warmers in the car were actually welcomed by all. J All the talk I had heard about London roads being well planned and organized suddenly made all sense to me as soon as I saw this device in the car – Talk Talk. This is a GPS device which is used as a tool to guide drivers through the roads of UK. We key in the unique postcode or a road name we need to travel and the whole travel plan would be in front of us. As we travel a voice will guide us as to which turn to take, how far is the next turn, traffic status, the best routes to take and as I heard it even indicates sometimes where police checkpoints are located. This really bamboozled me. How can all damn roads such a big place like UK be marked and understood!!!
All this was good and enjoyable until one of our managers got on the phone with one of the customers and learnt that our domain of work may change. We got to know that we may have to use OffBiz servers to deploy the code we crunch in the next 3 days!!! Knowing that knowledge about this server configuration and deployment among us was absolute zero, this news came in as a real rude shock. We started to chalk out back out plans to see how this situation could be tackled now! But I don’t know why I had a hard feeling that none of this would affect our work one bit and we would surely come out with something that would put us out of any mess we may get into.
I took time out of all this and started having a look out at the roads and the traffic. I was really surprised to see the kind of cars that were cursing on the roads. I couldn’t believe my eyes, I saw 2 Lamborghinis wiz past us. There were endless list of amazing cars. Everything from Audi, Mercs, Porsche, etc were seen in big numbers, all there in a short journey of about 2 hours.
We made it to our final destination and were surprised to see all shops closed at around 9pm. Then we were told that this is how it works here. All the shops usually close up at around 5 or 6 pm. So there was no way to grab food for the night. 😦 So there you go, we went to bed all hungry the first day in London.
Not a good start… Hope not everything will be as bad as this! Keeping my fingers crossed.