Murmeli goes India

An AIESEC traineeship in Hyderabad, India

Great Visa news + preparation related blabbering

I’m sure that everybody’s interested to know that I’ll be getting a one-year Visa!! After all the frustration, emails, calling and waiting weeks and weeks for documents I’m finally getting this thing done. The Visa should be finished on Thursday and I should be getting it by mail on Friday, latest on Monday next week.

Now that the Visa is sorted I can (need) to focus on other preparation stuff. Continue reading

June 20, 2006 Posted by | Leaving Finland, Preparation | Leave a comment

I’m not in Kansas anymore (or quite soon will not be)

The more I read about India the more aware I become of the fact that it will be something completely different.

Even a normal tourist trip to this country that overflows all your senses is an exceptional one, an experience you can not forget. Add to that the aspect of working in that country, which is what I will intend to do there for at least six months. I just completed a couple of chapters on business culture. It seems complicated. What I find troublesome is the balance between time conseption, deadlines, getting things done, politeness, friendlyness, eloquence, building good relationships and giving constructive feedback. Indians like to give feedback, but at the same time they are very polite and will not (at least in public) make you loose your face. If something fails it is karma, if it succeeds, it is karma. I am not saying that sarcastically, absolutely not. All this can be seen as a wonderful approach to life: whatever opportunities life has to offer to you, there is not only one point in your life when you are able to sieze that opportunity. Whatever comes, just comes. If not in this life, then in the next one.

I have no idea what I will be eating right now (at dinner time in India, actually) in three weeks time. It might be dal (split lentils) with rice, vegetables, yoghurt and chutney, with perhaps some roti or chappati on the side (both of which are some kind of bread). Of course I will have to use only my right hand for eating, as the left hand is considered unclean (for very obvious reasons, actually…). I might also become a vegetarian, just like most Hindus. Oh, and I’d like some kulfi, Indian ice cream, for desert, please.

Phew… overwhelming. And I’m not even there yet.

By the way, I was not going to get my eight years old tetanus shot renewed as it was considered effective still. However, due to the unfortunate “dive” playing football yesterday I actually got me a one tetanus shot 🙂 So, vaccinationwise, I’m even more than prepared to go. Someone get me on a plane to India!!

June 16, 2006 Posted by | Leaving Finland, Preparation | Leave a comment

Visa in the making!

Finally, the Indian embassy in Helsinki has started processing my application! I should be getting a half-year Visa now. If I had received a new acceptance note from the company today (there are still a few hours left of today, actually) I would have been able to get a one-year Visa. Damn, I wish I had thought about the whole thing sooner. But then again, I did request the documents exactly one month ago for the first time… But the lady at the embassy told me that it would be easy to get the Visa renewed in India after half a year there. It may mean that I need to step out of India and apply for the Visa in a neighbouring country. Then again, I might be able to renew it in Hyderabad. It depends on the city, I was told 🙂 Haha, India is such a complicated country.

Anyways, I’ll be calling the embassy in a week and inquire about the Visa. At that point I will have just one week to spend in Finland before leaving. I can not imagine how I will be feeling then, but I’m sure I’ll let you know about my feelings in this blog.

June 15, 2006 Posted by | Leaving Finland, Preparation | 1 Comment

New camera gear

I purchased a new camera to take with me to India. I decided that I will not drag my two years old, bulky Olympus with me there, especially with a broken battery compartment locking system.

Expect to see some travel photos in this blog as well as in the gallery during the journey.

June 14, 2006 Posted by | Preparation | Leave a comment

First Visa application sent & Indian bureaucracy & blogging

I sent the first Visa application to the Indian embassy in Helsinki yesterday. I have to say that I don’t really believe I’m going to get any Visa with that application and the insufficient and even contradictory attached documents. I’m still waiting for more documents from India, but it has already been a month since I first requested them…

UPDATE (14.6.2006, 13.28): I finally received the first one of the requested documents from India. I’ll need to go fax them to the embassy now. The whole Visa process has been extremely stressful. I just wish it would end soon, and also on time.

They say that India is a huge bureaucratic machine, incomprehensible as a matter of fact (Traveler’s Tales India). The bureaucracy is a remnant of the Raj, that is, the British ruling that ended in 1947. (Culture Smart India) The bureaucracy thing must be very strong and prevalent there since it has been mentioned in two of the books I’ve started reading. The same books also try to prepare the traveler for plenty of queuing, form filling and situations requiring a lot of patience and tolerance. I consider myself an extremely patient person, actually. I just got another proof of that last weekend when I was at my parents’ cottage with a few of my friends and a friend of mine told me the infamous elephant joke… 😉

I think I’m rather ambitious about blogging at this point. Still. First of all I’m writing in English (although I already have a post in draft status saying that sorry, I’m shifting to Finnish) and, secondly, I have already two quotes here from a couple of books I’ve been reading. But these things are aligned with my current blogging goals:
– write about myself, my emotions and feelings about the journey
– include India facts whenever appropriate
– maintain my large English speaking fan base.

On the other hand, I’m not sure if I’m following all the rules of blogging here. I’m talking about three very different issues in one post and I’m also meta-blogging (= blogging about blogging). But hey, there’s a first time for everything. That goes for blogging too.

June 14, 2006 Posted by | Preparation | Leave a comment

Less than three weeks to go

I now have less than three weeks to go before my traineeship is set to start in Hyderabad, India. I’m still waiting for documents required for the Visa application. I’m going to start the application process tomorrow though, even with insufficient information.

June 12, 2006 Posted by | Preparation | Leave a comment