Monday, 7 March 2011

Tom's Work

On Friday 4th Feb Tom texted me at 11ish saying he’d forgotten some papers he needed and could I bring them to his work? I agreed as I was curious to see where it was he went to everyday.

I walked across from the apartment and got a rickshaw from the rank. Apparently the rickshaw should have only cost 50 rupees, but the driver wouldn’t budge on 60 rupees or use the meter! So reluctantly I had to pay that, even though his meter was running after all and said only 48 rupees when I arrived!

Tom’s work is a 10 minute drive away, in an area called Yerwada. It is a few minutes further on than the mall I had been to the previous day. It is situated in an area between the local jail and a mental hospital - quite a fitting location don’t you think! He he he! The office is in one of five modern looking blue glass buildings that are about seven floors tall, in a purpose built IT Park called Commerzone.

The surrounding area is suburban and quite open with lots of trees lining the paths. The one thing that seemed strange to me was that it was right next door to an area of shanty tin houses that people lived in. The whole mix of rich and poor here is really something to get used to, they are really on top of each other in some places. It’s really hard not to feel guilty.

(About 48 seconds into the video you can see the IT complex Commerzone. This was filmed recently when Tom and I were passing through the area).

When I arrived at the large gates at the front of the complex, I gave Tom a ring to say I was there and waited for him. The gates were manned by lots of security guards standing in areas protected by sandbags. Each vehicle that was entering had their boot and interior searched with a metal detector, and some of the time the underneath was inspected with a mirror on a stick!

It was good to see that there was a lot of security around but I did feel a bit uneasy because I was waiting outside for about 10 minutes and they kept looking over at me suspiciously. I bet they were relieved when Tom came out and met me because I then had a reason to be there.

Opposite the IT Park was a row of waiting rickshaws. I thought at least I may be able to barter with them and get the cheaper rate of 50 rupees home but unfortunately the driver that brought me was still around and told my driver not to accept anything less than 60 rupees! Damn It!

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