Success! It is now 3:00AM in Hyderabad India, and I have checked into the Novotel in HiTec City. The flight was uneventful; I got my demos basically working and then slept the majority of the time. The immigration and customs at the airport were perhaps the least threatening of any I've seen. Immigrations basically just looked for my visa, took my arrival card, and stamped my passport. Customs was little more than a big white X-ray machine with "CUSTOMS" printed on a white piece of paper taped to the front.
The smooth arrival was just what the doctor ordered. The reason I'm on this round-the-globe trip is because my original tickets to India were issued to the wrong name: Charles O'Nutter instead of Charles (O) Nutter. I never noticed the slip-up on the itinerary (nor would I ever have recognized it as a slip-up, since the output was pretty mainframe-ish), and only upon arriving at the airport in Minneapolis was I told I could not check in. Twenty-four hours and a lot of scrambling later, I had new tickets issued on the only flights available, hence my return trip heading east via Bangkok and Tokyo. But aside from that initial snafu, the trip has been pretty routine. Saturday will be interesting...my ticket to Bangalore has to be purchased in-person, so there's great potential for more headaches. But I can take it in stride, and I'm sure things will work out well in the end.
Hyderabad is about what I expected, and I'm looking forward to getting into the city one of these three days before I leave for Bangalore. It feels very similar to Beijing, with old meeting new and construction everywhere. The city looks very appealing; street-level shops line almost every sidewalk, there's green plant life everywhere, and everything has sort of a dusty, dingy, comfortable feel. It's not dirty, don't get me wrong...just dusty, like any city kicking earth into the air with a thousand construction projects might be. The auto-rickshaws (three-wheeled rickshaw-looking things with small engines) are pervasive; I can imagine that during the day they swarm and buzz like bees. They drive on the British side of the road, which isn't much of a surprise, really.
It's really unfortunate when traveling to more exotic places like this that I have to check into a tidy, pristine western-style hotel. I'd rather stay in the midst of the city, where I can walk out the front door into daily Hyderabadian life. I doubt I'll be at the hotel for all three days of the conference...there's exploring to be done.
If you're located in Hyderabad or Bangalore and might be able to show me around a day this week (Thursday or Friday for Hyderabad) or next Sunday or Tuesday (Bangalore) I'd appreciate it. I'm not put off by crowds of people, even if many don't speak my language, but knowing the hot spots for shopping and eating makes exploring a bit more productive.
I give my presentation in just over 12 hours, so I'm going to try to settle in with a nice Kingfisher lager beer and relax. The conference schedule has things starting up in about 6 hours, so I should be fine for sleep and fairly well-delagged by then.
On the plane, I managed to duplicate the rails-integration WARfile-based deployment of a simple webapp, but I was unable to get an embedded Derby DB to work with it. I'm sure it's a matter of permissions, connection pooling, and such. I may or may not have time to get that working by tomorrow, but if I demo the basic app working with WEBrick and then WAR it up and show the non-DB stuff working in GlassFish, I think the point will have been made. I must also keep reminding myself that my talk is only 50 minutes now. I can fill 50 minutes without batting an eye. So we'll see if there's even time to get to GlassFish, since it eats up a good five minutes building and deploying the app from scratch.