Zoli ( the student accompanying me on this travel) and I slept well for the first night with the ariconditioning making the room fine. We awoke at 6 for breakfast at 6:30. The food was 1/2 english 1/2 indian with scrambled eggs, sausages, cereal, toast(from sweetened bread) and curry. This was very nice however the coffee was like brown water, weak as gnat's pee.
We and the rest of the westen delegates promptly filed onto the bu at 7:15 and then waited in the heat for about 15mins for another indian couple to arrive. The bus looked like the muppet hippy trail buss with lots of worn leather and the drive obliged the muppet theme by driving like crazy harry! Everything which moved was overtaken and the whole trip was like a rollercoaster (I've never had "air" whilst sat in a bus before!) into the mountains.
The conference started late(of course) with a prayer and the lighting of an oil lamp! My talk was in the first morning session and went well with good audience feedback and later the chairman congratulated me for doing a good talk. It always surprises me the number of people who have 30+ slides for a 15 -20 mins talk. 30 slides would need a slide change every 20s!
The conference is being hosted at the local university which si nicely air-conditioned but in the middle of nowhere. The climate control means that most of the day is spent in comfort and I try to sit close to the wall mounted unit so that I feel the full effects of the cool breeze emanating from the device
It is a bit strange to see virtually every female in a sari especially in this heat. I guess I only see the dress as formal/smart rather then a day to day cloths. Lunch was served outside in the midday heat with only a couple of fans cooling the delegates. I succumbed to the temptation of fish curry served with pancakes, rice, dumplings.
The first day has been ok so far, there has been too many cancelled speakers and typically the cancelled appearances are the ones which I wanted!