From Pune to Mumbai

Hello from the Homi Bhabha Centre in Mumbai! Homi Bhabha is known as the father of India’s atomic energy program, that was developed right next door to here.

First catch up from Pune. Yesterday got data off the NaviGPS devices, making the IndicTrans guys very happy. Schuyler got party render working (and has some patches to submit) and we made this animation. Bought 10 SD Cards to replace the incompatible ones supplied by the GPS distributor (duh). Patched together presentations for the workshop today. And then rapidly hit the road for Mumbai.

The car hurtled down the ghats while we hacked on the presentations for the first real public workshops. The degree of car sickness this transmits is profound. Stopped for tea about halfway. A guy sitting nearby asks about my t-shirt .. “FooCamp? Is that anything like BarCamp?” .. what? just about the last thing I expected to hear in the middle of India. It was along the Mumbai-Pune corridor, sure, but! He turns out to be a Mumbai based web entrepreneur — it really is a gold rush here. A hour later we’re in Mumbai, driving through the most awful toxic air I’ve ever had the lack of choice to breath, sourced from something burning which definitely should not ever be burnt, ever, in a dark, torn up near apocalyptic landscape of diesel trucks, cement, and probably millions of people. The air cleared as we neared Powai Lake for the home of our host, Professor Shah. And we continued to near it for more than an hour, as our Pune based driver got completely and utterly lost, in a way only possible if the passengers are two cartographers. The cartographers curse. Taxi navigation in India is based on asking unlucky roadside pedestrians and fellow taxi drivers, who fate is to not ever say “I don’t know” but at the least give a shrug in a vague direction with no bearing to the destination. Somehow we found our destiation, which leads to speculative models on partial, or even negative, information in transit routing actually solving directions problems. Anyway, the misery was entirely relieved by the citing of a real city elephant .. elephant in Bombay! The home of Professor Shah was a comfortable contrast to this surreal journey, making it even more surreal. Sleep came easily.

Ok — taken a couple days to get this out and day two of the Mumbai Workshop starting soon, more later…

2 thoughts on “From Pune to Mumbai”

  1. combine that with dead batteries in the GPS. worse is that the same happened again the next night.

    well at least, there’s a lot of work for us here!

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