Just when we thought Day 2 was bad. Day 3 was… exhausting. I didn’t want to use any extreme terms because it has nothing to do with HICC, HGM nor India. I guess a combination of flight fatigue, long hours and running about contributed to it. Everything was like Day 2, except we were a little more adventurous today. We took the shuttle service out to the Hi-tex entrance where we tried to get a cab back to the hotel. Vijay of Katriya De Royal had kindly agreed to help us get the SIM cards under his name (if we were unable to get it under our names) and we were to go back to the hotel to find out how things go.

Now, when we were at Hi-tex, we had a lot of 3-wheelers coming to us and asking where we wanted to go. For some reason, they didn’t understand us and we showed them the hotel name card (always remember to get a hotel name card, and if possible, draw out the surrounding roads and buildings, hint: google maps) and they sort of figured out.

Then, they didn’t want to go by the meter and offered Rs. 200 for the trip back. We negotiated and got Rs. 150, which seemed reasonable if the trip was about 20km (it turned out to be shorter, but it’s alright) (update: it turned out that it should only cost us Rs. 80 for the trip back; sigh, we got radished again). Another group managed to get a proper cab and we realised later that it cost them Rs. 170. Well, perhaps that’s because of the aircon, but it was quite fun being driven on a 3-wheeler without doors and windows of any sort.

When we reached the hotel, they thought that we wanted to go to the airport and asked us to get back onto their cab. We tried explaining to them that we only wanted to return to the hotel but they insisted that we should get back onto their cab so that they can drive us up the slope to the airport buses. We passed them Rs. 150 but they returned Alice the money! Haha… we didn’t know what was happening but we needed to get out of there back to the hotel. Apparently, the hotel concierge helped us explain to them and we thought we saw the hotel chasing them away. So we asked the hotel what happened but they insisted nothing was wrong.

I hope we didn’t cause anyone any distress. =(

Anyway, we got our SIM cards under the name of Vijay (and he was on night shift) and someone else passed the cards to us. We were so grateful for us because it meant that we would be able to get online soon! Whoopie! So, we started worrying about how we can get back to the HICC without being chopped like the radish head.

We saw a normal cab (Tel: 43434343 to get a cab from Easy Cabs in Hyderabad, they do 1/2 day and 1 day chauffeur driven services to anywhere; 40km for 1/2 day and 80km for full day, additional Rs. 15/km and Rs. 100/hour extra if you exceed either the distance or time or both, and this is one of the cheapest we found on Day 4, rates start from Rs. 700 for 1/2 day and Rs. 1400 for 1 day) and was looking for the driver when we saw a whole group of 3-wheelers drivers coming our way. They wanted to charge us Rs. 300 for the trip back to the HICC, but considering that we paid Rs. 150 for the trip from Hi-tex back to the hotel, and that the distance from Hi-tex to HICC is really short, Rs. 300 is a radish price (henceforth used to represent an overprice). Thankfully, the taxi driver came back and agreed to run on meter for our trip back to HICC. The trip turned out to cost us about Rs. 220, about Rs. 80 cheaper (approximately S$2.60 cheaper).

Back at HICC, we followed Popagandhi’s guide to getting online for 20 rupees a day, which we found to be a little outdated. The instructions didn’t work out the way it should be, but here’s how you should go about getting your Internet activated:

  • Instead of sending an SMS to “567” with the text “GPRS”, you should now send an SMS to “52121” with the text “Internet ON”. You will receive 3 SMSes informing you that your request is received, activated and valid.
  • If you are using a 3G phone, you should select “Mobile Office” as the access point. The other 2 should be “Airtel Live!” and “Airtel Live! MMS”.
  • The charge for 1 day of Internet access is now Rs. 15 and it runs for 24 hours exactly from the time of activation. I think you only need to activate it once. If not… just send the SMS again.
  • How do you know if your request is activated: You will get an error: “Unable to connect” on your phone when you attempt to surf the Internet.

Following Popagandhi’s steps, we will be dedicating one post on it later. Many thanks to her for writing that guide, without which, we will be paying Rs. 1300/day for Internet access at HICC. That works out to be almost S$50. Ouch!

Dinner was at Taj Krishna Hotel and it was, again, buffet style. There were 2 sections – one for chairs, speakers and invitees and another for students. Now, Alice and myself and the entire organization representing all the countries are known as delegates, however, so are the students; and we got ushered to the open air free-for-all buffet area. Not that we mind it at all, but it was so crowded with all the tables occupied that we thought that the organizer of the event could have done a better job to ensure that there should at least be sufficient seats. Moreover, it was supposed to be a “banquet” but then again, it was most probably a cultural shock after all. The food turned out to be really good and I guess that’s what’s important at the end of the day.

Eventually, another delegate realised that we were supposed to be seated inside (so another question is – why the segregation from the students?) and we went in for an entire evening of Indian song and dance. Most of the important people seated in front were happily dancing away, but I guess the most of us were too tired to move. I didn’t have much appetite for dinner and Alice had just 1 plate of food (she usually takes about 5 to 10 plates). It’s probably the hormones telling the body that we need rest and lots and lots of sleep. =P

Oh, did I mention that we made a short recording of the dance? =) You might need to lower your speaker because we were seated right in front of the speakers with the loud music blasting away in our ears. Yes, the ears were still ringing went we left the place.

When we finally reached the hotel, I got to bed and just knocked out, while Alice continued playing with the DSLR and trying to figure out why her focusing were all out.

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