One of the reasons we have come to Bangalore is to answer the question, can we adapt to the culture here and also is the culture something we will feel comfortable with? There are things I need to have:
There are things that Anna needs to have:
Cheeky teenage apparel?
Now what about the city itself? Do we feel comfortable here? That is a much more interesting question. The city is what it is. It is not an American suburb, which actually I am glad for. We went for a walk earlier today up to one of the shopping areas. As we were walking we attracted numerous auto rickshaw drivers who wanted to give us a lift or a tour. When we said "no" they just followed us. Which is fine, kind of annoying, but okay, I can ignore them. But the increased exhaust from those lovely two-stroke engines I can do without. We wanted to head up to Brigade Road and so we decided to cut through a neighborhood. That was actually pleasant! Once you get off the main drags it is amazing how much quieter it is. No one pestered us and we were able to get a glimpse of people hanging out in the park or talking on a street corner. We even saw a lovely house...
We did finally make it up to Brigade Road where we found the Cafe Coffee Day and some fun sights:
I think Bangalore is getting a little self aware. As you drive around you notice these (handpainted!) signs with clever slogans
or sometimes just obvious statements like,
"Keep Bangalore clean. Do not dump trash or urinate here"
Some of the more helpful signs will even let you know where the nearest public toilet is!
Traffic is something else and absolutely impossible to convey. As we went up to Forum Mall (one of the nicer malls in Bangalore) the roads were more and more packed. Inside the mall was merely a non motorized/wheeled version of this. People aren't pushy though. It is just sort of a cosmically moving stream that you have to find your way in to. You can't wait for some one to let you in, you just move into it. This is particularly true as you are trying to cross a street. You have to find your opportunity and move. Don't stop or you will be in trouble! No wonder they have so many helpful gods here! Wish I had some pics of the mall to share with you. But afterwards, needing something to eat, and finding the food court type place at the mall to be just a little too crazy (hey- I can't bear the one at Valley Fair either!) we decided to have our driver take us to some place where we could sit down and get some food that Anna would find palatable - the kid doesn't like Indian food! So, we ended up at Pizza Corner, and yes, it is on a corner. Anna had some pineapple pizza and Bryan and I shared a "Desi Pizza", Paneer Tandoori pizza. Dang! That was good! Anyway, while there I did get a nice pleasant photo of a teenager...
Oh yeah.... Pizza?
(Now I just need to find Boba...!)