Electronics City: Nov. 8th
Today it’s off to InfoSys in "Electronics City" via Hosur Road. Electronics City is the "Great Hope" of Bangalore. In an attempt to grow revenue, the city fathers created a technology park. This park would have guaranteed power — and tax advantages to any software company that would come reside in it. In addition, since Indian phones are so bad, they would give you about half of an ISDN connection, for a $100,000 a year. Bangalore’s planners located the City about 30 kilometers outside of town, because land was cheap. Then they built all the diesel generation facilities. Then they waited, and waited, and waited.
Build a better mousetrap and the entire world will beat a path to your door. Unfortunately, the path to Electronic City is Hosur Road. Relief in the form of the occasional 200-meter paved section punctuates the road's backbreaking, crater-size potholes. Still Jude must be careful; these new smooth sections have carefully laid "speed brakes" that are about 8 inches high. It takes us an hour to reach InfoSys, at our average speed of 15 miles per hour. Mind-boggling 3 to 4 hour traffic jams result whenever a bullock cart hits a car or a truck lorry breaks down.

Bangalore’s planners hope to finish the road in a "couple of years", at which point they want to start building the international airport. Today I saw a cartoon of a civil servant telling his politician boss, "Yes sahib, absolutely sahib, we must get to the 21st century sahib.. But one step at time sahib, first 19th, then 20th, then 21st."

The road has the typical melange of roadside attractions, sawmills, wood stores, plastic stool emporiums, South and North Indian veg. food "hotels" (the Indian form of a street vendor), and every so often an incredibly rich building, housing some American or German company. My personal favorite is Novell’s facility. It is a 2 story gray and red job, with an interior atrium, and a long gray concrete block fence about the entire facility. As you drive by, you can see several Indian males doing what comes naturally when they see a concrete fence - pissing on it. Texas Instruments has located their facilities in downtown Bangalore, across from the police station. No one pisses in front of TI.