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« Welcome to Bangalore | Main | Welcome to the Pleasure zone »

Welcome to Bangalore

So, here I am at the Royal Gardenia Hotel in Bangalore, India, drinking a cool glass of Kingfisher in the very bar you see above. It's 15:45, local time, which is four and a half hours ahead of the UK.

Yesterday I boarded BA flight 119 at 14:00, having driven to Heathrow from Birmingham via Cambridgeshire following the Forest party at the Conservative conference on Monday night. (Photos to follow shortly.)

BA obviously decided to go straight to Bangalore time because we were barely in the air when we were served dinner. After that I watched an episode of Frasier, the Gervaise/Merchant film Cemetery Junction, and read several chapters of Thaler and Sunstein's "hugely influential" book Nudge: Improving decisions about health, wealth and happiness. Before long, or so it seemed, we were being handed breakfast (tomato, beans and a kind of potato omelette) at 23:00 UK time.

The nine-hour flight took us in the general direction of Vienna, Istanbul, Tehran and some other places I can't remember (although they all sounded like war zones!) and finally Karachi and Mumbai before we landed in Bangalore at 04:10 local time.

From the airport we took a taxi into the city but it was still dark so not much to see. Arrived at the Royal Gardenia Hotel at 06:00. Welcomed by staff who placed turbans on our heads, wrapped silk scarves around our necks and offered us a welcome drink (orange juice, since you ask).

As we were shown to our rooms (none of that "Can't check in until 3.00pm" nonsense) rose petals fluttered down on to our heads from a balcony above. I looked up. Yes, the hotel employed a man for that very purpose.

Slept most of the morning before registering for the conference which begins tomorrow. I'm speaking in three sessions, one tomorrow, two on Friday. But first there is a formal dinner tonight in the more traditional Windsor Hotel a few minutes' walk away. (Needless to say transport has been arranged to save us the bother!)

I'll keep you posted.

Reader Comments (2)

It must be a very interesting experience to visit Bangalore. I hope that you really enjoy the experience.
I also hope that you and your colleagues find a way to contest the received wisdom about the perceived dangers of the enjoyment of tobacco. One way or another, it must be made evident that any danger resulting from the enjoyment of tobacco is minuscule during the normal lifetime of a human being, and that the danger from second hand smoke is orders of magnitude less than that.
One might also ask how it came to be that there is an international organisation whose purpose is to deny people who enjoy tobacco their simple pleasures, even if their simple pleasures are marginally harmful to them in some minuscule way.

I hope that at the end of your conference, some pro-active way forward will appear.

Good luck.

October 7, 2010 at 2:03 | Unregistered CommenterJunican

Just goes to show how easy it is to accomadate smokers. Something which escapes EU Dave, Clegg and their army of enforcers (not cutting any of them are they). Your hotel sounds like quite a tolerant place. Something which Cast Iron Dave and his smoking Nazis would never accept here. Him and Clegg are as bad as Labour when it come to controlling everything and displaying intolerance to his current victims of choice.

October 7, 2010 at 5:37 | Unregistered CommenterJames Trent

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