Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Bye Bye, Bangalore! 

Tomorrow is our last day in Bangalore. We moved from the Museum Inn which is at the center of everything to the Bowring Institute (club) guest quarters about 2 blocks away. Very busy—think auto ricks, two-wheelers, taxis and cars, dogs, people (hundreds), horrible sidewalks, honking and more honking away. The beds are made of wood, I mean not springs and it took us a couple of days to figure out that the hot water geyser had to be switched on half an hour before bathing (bucket baths are advised as it may run out half way through a shower). The light above the bed is on a tandem switch, depending which you switch off or on. We finally discovered the AC switch was behind a table but we don’t need it as a nice balcony brings in a breeze. The garden compound enclosed by a granite stone wall is a good compensation although the midnight “happy birthday” party was a bit loud. The food is excellent and we are enjoying idlis , dosais and vadais with fresh coconut pieces and green chillies, too. All this for $25 a night, how can we complain. (Picture of Margo and Moi in Coonoor at Fay and Kai Vohra's place in Coonoor.)

I finally got through on my Indian phone to the English speaking driver (who also speaks Tamil, Hindhi, Kanada and other local languages) who knows Bangalore better than Margo. We were lost for a while yesterday in Cox town trying to find a school because another driver could not figure out the difference between Mosque and Mark’s roads. They are on opposite ends of town. Anyway, we got to see how people live in the side streets, as if we needed to and how to cut past the large posters of Ganapati tied to the center islands covered in flowers and shiny garlands.

Mr. Rajan kept our papayas (which we were given and left in his car) so I bought a beautiful one today from the stall at the Bowring (pron. Bow-ring as in bow-wow—I do miss my doggie, Briz) My cousin Sean’s wife Vicki said they bring the organic fruit and veggies in fresh from the villages. Their sharp little three-year old, Lolli, kept us entertained and jealous of whom she gave her affections to while I took as many pictures as I could, hard to shoot a moving target, yes? She calls my uncle Len gaga for grandpa. Arun and Anette invited us over for chicken curry and cutlets with fancy rice and too much dessert while Marianne and Bonny de Nazereth took us to the roof-top restaurant Angeetha where they make the pomfret fish from Calicut by flash frying them on a 3 foot 400 degree tawa, after plastering it lightly with masala. That with parathas and dal fry is perfect with a hot spicy tomato soup before—they know what to do with a can of Campbell’s over here. (Picture of Bill and Moi with Uncle Len at Koshy's on St. Mark's road now near the Hard Rock Cafe which is in the old Tract and Book Society building.)

Today was a look in the gold shop, Chemmanur, and down to Commercial Street where we bought some dupitas from FabIndia and bargained for prices at the stalls, ate at Woody’s an institution there where we finally got Mysore Pak sweets and good almond milk.

I’m still working on the photos, takes too much time without Photoshop at the Internet Café so we’ll see what access we get in Port Blair day after tomorrow.

Love, Joy

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