Thursday, June 16, 2011

The Shortest Commute in India

For the past 17 months, I've had the shortest commute in India.

That's not scientifically proven, mind you, but for those that work outside the home, I would put my commute up against just about anyone. I can see my apartment building from the men's room. I timed my walk home one day: seven minutes from desk to door. And I had to wait for an elevator. I'm a lazy enough expat that you'd expect I might call a driver for a ride. Unfortunately, with the way Indian roads work, you have to turn the wrong direction, drive a half mile, pull a U-turn, drive a mile the other way, pull another U-turn at a roundabout, and then drive back up to get to our apartment complex entrance, which sits not more than 50 yards from my office. Believe me, walking is just easier.

My claim to the shortest commute in India ends soon. I was recently told that I'd be shifting offices to my company's other facility in Gurgaon. While my new commute of fifteen to twenty minutes actually makes business sense and isn't bad my most standards (including what I was used to in the Chicago suburbs and especially compared to some of the horror stories I hear from others at work where total commute time regularly tops 90 minutes each direction), I'd be lying if I said I wasn't going to miss that walk home each night.

Granted, there's something to be said for some separation between work and personal life where you neither see your apartment from the wash room nor your office each time you leave your home. However, the lack of traffic stress (really not that much stress in the grand scheme of things) and basically zero commute (especially on those days I work well into the US shift), has been an unexpected indirect benefit of this experience. For the past 17 months, I've been spoiled (and playfully remind others that I can simply walk home; they'd expect nothing less from me), we'll see how it goes when I have a "normal" length commute which is still abnormally short by "new" Indian standards.

Something tells me that any complaints will go ignored.

1 comment:

  1. Hello! After trying to figure out a way to email you for about 15 minutes, I've given up. My husband and I just moved to Gurgaon, and we were hoping to meet you guys. Is there an email address I can contact you at? Thanks!