Wednesday, November 7th, 2001
TIPS ON TRAVEL TO INDIA
October and November are full of excitement in India. Two major Hindu festivals, Dusherra and Diwali, are celebrated throughout the country in various ways- with plenty of music, dance, food and lights livening up most major cities. With pleasant weather in most parts of India at this time of year, it can be an ideal time to visit. Business travellers beware though- with numerous holidays in these months it can mean all play and no work! School closures are common during the holiday period. Be sure to check for national and regional holidays during your trip.
Local Transport in India
Transportation within the major Indian cities can be a source of major frustration for many visitors. Taxis and auto- rickshaws are to be found in abundance in most cities, but when it comes to what you should pay there are no hard and fast rules to follow. Many travellers prefer to pay the meter fares, but this may not be the wisest choice. In places like Bangalore and Pune going by meters is a good bet. But in other cities such as Delhi and Chennai, doing so can cost you 2 to 3 times what you should pay. Negotiating a price is a better option. In a large city like Mumbai, the train is the way to go to save time and money. Get informed before you go. Find out the local transportation options and fares before visiting Indian cities. You’ll be spared a lot of time, money and hassles.
The Spirit of Canada in Bangalore
The “Garden City” of Bangalore will be hosting a Canadian tradition this month. Terry Fox run will take place in Bangalore’s Cubbon Park in the center of the city. The Canadian High Commissioner to India, Peter Sutherland, will also be taking part in the run which drew 5,000 participants in the city last year.
Business professionals who find themselves making overseas trips on a regular basis will benefit the most from this service. A Global Roaming subscription will allow users to dial-up to the Internet from nearly anywhere in the world from places such as airports and hotels. Subscribers dial-up to a local phone number so the quality of the connection is greater than if one were to call back to Canada to connect. Roaming charges are significantly less than long-distance charges to Canada, even from hotels. Users then stand to gain from the potential of increased productivity and cost effectiveness.
A flat subscription fee is associated with this dial-up service. Single-time calls or dial-ups are subject to an additional charge; this amount depends on the location of dial-up, connection quality, and duration of call. Many Internet roaming service providers now feature dial-up locations from thousands of sites around the world. Once subscription to a carrier, clients are then asked to download either the iPassConnect or GRICdial program. Users can then pre-select destination cities from the dialer in advance of a trip. In order to use Global Roaming, they would need to change email settings as required (usually only the SMTP server name). Users can then use their existing email program (complete with address book) while traveling.
For more information, please follow these links:
http://www.i2roam.com/ – service provider
http://home.concentric.net/ – service provider
http://www.ipass.com/documents/6.5.00katsantonis.html – a more thorough article from Telepathy Magazine
When traveling, perhaps the most expensive method of contacting someone at home is to dial long distance direct using a hotel phone account. The next most expensive option might be to use a calling card purchased from home. Often, local calling cards (if available and purchased in the country one is in) can be less costly than calling cards from home.
ANOTHER TRICK? If you have easy email access, make sure key people back home have the capacity to receive email on their cellphones. This way, you are able to send emails to home phones to ask someone to telephone at a certain number and a certain time. This can often create very quick turnaround if necessary. It is also very helpful if you are at a phone number you do not expect to be at or if you are unable to make outgoing long distance calls but can send an email.