Part I of this article listed all things that you, an outsourcer, must do in preparation for a trip to India. It saw you up to airport on your day of departure.
Now you’re on plane and you’ve had dinner; your eyes close as you drift into sleep, to dream of maharajas, elephants and computer geeks…
After sailing skies for an interminably long time, you finally arrive in Indian subcontinent. Hot, humid air surrounds you as you disembark from aircraft; flocks of parrots and other exotic birds streak by overhead.
Immigration takes anything between 10 and 90 minutes depending on inflow of passengers... it pays to move fast and get a good position in line.
Customs is usually a breeze, since officers are only after big offenders (and hopefully you’re not one of them!). They usually wave foreign citizens right by since they know these visitors are potential customers.
Incidentally, from moment you entered terminal, surveillance has been on, but since it's hidden, you've no idea it's in place.
If you now walk straight out of terminal, voracious taxi drivers will descend upon you en masse, much like vultures on an African kill, after which they will proceed to confuse and destroy your thinking process in their attempt to sell you a ride.
So don't venture outside unprotected. Buy a controlled-rate coupon inside terminal at 'prepaid taxi' counter for a taxi ride to your hotel. The salesperson will also assign a taxi and driver to you.
The prepaid taxi coupon is your body armor against those unregulated taxi-drivers... they will not come near you when they see that slip of paper in your hands. You can walk to your taxi without fear of attack.
Once you're at your hotel, you're in safe hands, because indeed, Indian business hotels are havens for travellers. Their managements are seriously concerned about guests' well-being and comfort; their environs are restful and healing.
Knock back your welcome drink and decompress. Once that’s done, gently channel your thoughts towards acquiring a vital necessity: a mobile phone with GSM connectivity.
If you are a seasoned traveller, you will have a 'tri-band' mobile, in which case all you have to do is buy a SIM card and a prepaid connection, which will cost you about US$35 (as of 2005) including nearly 250 minutes of talk time.
If you don't have a tri-band, buy an inexpensive GSM mobile for about $45 in addition to a SIM card. SIM cards and phones are available at any of myriad phone shops in any Indian metropolis; your concierge will tell you where nearest one is.
Take this advice on mobiles very seriously... one cannot stress how important it is... I’ll be you $10 you’ll thank me for it later!
Inaugurate your new phone by calling vendor you came to see. Get to vendor's office by car (yours or theirs, as long as it has air conditioning); other means of transport like auto rickshaws may look exciting but will likely result in a missed appointment...