I finally got an Internet connection in the evening, here in Bakers Resort Hotel! I plugged my laptop directly into the router to lessen the risk of viruses etc. It was great to have contact with the world again!
Today I decided to visit Trivandrum. I caught a bus at about 10am. Cost 7Rs!!! That's about £0.10 for 15km. Cheap or what?! Return was 8Rs - no idea why the difference.
Trivandrum, especially the main street - MG Road, is hellish. Cars, buses, lorries, motor bikes, scooters, auto-rickshaws everywhere. Noise and oily fumes, and horns blaring constantly. And then there's the people and street vendors... mayhem! I made my way to the Reliance Netconnect store to enquire about a data card which would give me a roaming wireless connection to the Internet. About 1000Rs a month with no restrictions - but I found the data rate would be slow at around 80kbps. And I'd need a permanent resident with ID to support my application - I'm not sure where I'll find one of those.
The bus was overcrowded in both directions and a bit grubby too, and the drivers drive like they're possessed - well, as much as the tired old engines and the pot-holed roads allow them! There's definitely some unwritten convention about where women and men sit - both times the women sat on the right in a group, sometimes with an elderly man amongst them. This needs further observation. Anyway, got there and back with no major incidents.
I met with the head teacher today and that was a lot more encouraging than my previous visit to SISP. We discussed the timetable and what my role might be. I'll start next Monday, from 09:00 - 18:00. Kids start to arrive at 09:00 and need supervising. Then lessons are 10:20-11:05, 11:05-11:50, break, 12:10-13:00, lunch, 14:00-15:00, 15:00-16:00, then they have a slice of bread and jam and many go home, while other children arrive and stay 16:00-18:00 starting with the bread and jam and then having tuition or doing homework. I should be able to help with the English during many parts of the day, but my first week will be spent mostly observing.