Bangalore Urban

Here you’ll find travel reports about Bangalore Urban. Discover travel destinations in India of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.

33 travelers at this place:

  • Day52

    Whistle Stop Tour of Bangalore

    January 9 in India ⋅ ☀️ 26 °C

    😭😭😭😭😭😭 I did not sleep a wink. The entire carriage was full of fog horn snorers. Even Will decided to join in!! I felt like I'd been in a car crash when we arrived in Bangalore but I was determined to get on with it.

    We arrived at the station at 6.15am - still dark. We had no idea of what our plan was. Do we stay in Bangalore or do we make a move to the mountains in the south for a short stay. We stumbled off train and sat down with Anna and Mattay to gather our thoughts and drink chai while the cleaners cleaned up around us and constantly asked us to move. Eventually we came up with a plan. We were going to spend the day in Bangalore and get the night bus, our first night bus in India, to Kodaikanal which is in the Western Ghats. We also decided to make the most of being in Bangalore and set up a public hangout on Couch Surfing in hope of meeting a local and we soon organised a late lunch with a local family man.

    We had a morning to kill before meeting up with Mohsin so the four of us started walking across the city towards Cubbon Park, we didn't make it very far when Anna was feeling very very ill. I think she had what I had 😔 So we made it to Freedom Park and chilled out with them till about 1pm, when myself and Will decided to begin walking to MG Road to meet Mohsin.

    Along the way Will got talking to a nut job. Will was initially oblivious to his crazyness until he said he was 90 years old and looked 60 because he had never taken public transport in his life, he was British and that his name was Einstein Hyde and descended from the Hydes that made Hyde Park. Will finally realised he was crazy. Oh Will! After departing from the company of Einstein Hyde we saw the High Courts which was hidden within Cubbon Park. I wish Anna had been well enough to walk a tiny bit further as chilling in Cubbon Park would have been much nicer for her!

    Eventually we got to MG Road which is quite a hipster area. Mohsin told us that a Bangalore resident went to erurope and loved the European feel and decided to design the MG Road area in the same feel and style. Mohsin took us for lunch and we ate Paratha, kerela style chicken and Chicken Virnela. It was super tasty!! We all instantly got along and it was like we had known each other for years. After lunch we wandered around the area for a while and then headed for some local Indian sweets and then a coffee. Let's just say I was absolutely stuffed and on quite a low from the sugar, coffee and no sleep. Its incredible how much common ground you can find with absolute strangers. We must have been talking for hours. Eventually Mohsin had to leave to pick up his daughter and as Bangalore is so famous for its brewing we decided to go to Arbor where we ordered a taster tray of all the ales on tap. The original plan was to then go to MTR which is now a famous chain of Indian restaurants with the original one in Bangalore but we enjoyed Arbor so much that we just stayed and ordered surf and turf nachos! Heaven!!

    Finally it was time to jump into a taxi and catch our night bus. We had to wait around a lot and change buses, but eventually we were on the bus and it was surprisingly comfy, roomy, with bedding and even had a TV! Luxury.

    At about 2am I was dying for a wee. Unfortunately Will had taken a sleeping tablet, we were on the upper berth and I was on the window side so let's just say getting out of the bed was nearly impossible. Eventually I got down and headed towards the driver to ask him to stop. Just as I opened the cabin door his out on his break and I went flying into the door. I smashed my head, my left side and cut my toe open. After going to the toilet I had quite a big cry and passed out from the pain I think. Next thing I new it was morning...
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  • Day14

    Worst Possible Timing

    December 18, 2018 in India ⋅ ⛅ 16 °C

    We spent the day in Mysore visiting the market. Sophie and I went to a government run silk factory where they make material for many of the gorgeous saris that this city is known for. They didn't allow cameras, so we left without photos. They wind 10 strands of silk into one thread then feed them through giant looms. Everything was mechanized, but there were hundreds of employees tending the machinery. The shuttles moved incredibly quickly back and forth across the loom. Couldn't really follow them with our eyes as they moved.

    In the evening we had dinner at the home of a long time Intrepid Travel guide and his family. Chicken Birryani and an eggplant dish. The food was delicious.

    We then boarded an Indian Railways overnight train for Chennai. Accommodations were a bit different than the last time I traveled on one of these trains 45 years ago. Porters bringing chai, making up the compartments, and seeing to every need. Now first class tickets have to be reserved months in advance. All other classes basically require a mad scramble with no guarantee that seats/berths will be together. Our second class berths were in an open compartment with eight others. At bedtime we folded the backrests up to form a middle of three berths per side. The seats at the passage end make up the seventh and eighth bunks. It is crowded.

    The night didn't go so well. I thought it would be a good sleep from the gentle rocking of the train. The ride was much more jolting than I remembered or expected. Sleep was difficult what with people moving up and down out of the bunks, babies crying,, and Nancy's snoring exacerbated by her headcold. Then it got bad. I thought it was motion sickness from the movement of the train. By 3:00am I was scurrying to the squat toilet at the end of the car. I'll spare the details, but this sort of thing is not easy or sanitary on a train moving at 60 mph and jolting back and forth.

    Sophie and I spent the last 24 hours sick and sleeping in our hotel rooms in Mamallapuram. Another of our crew experienced the same. All three of us had taken seconds of the aubergine dish the night before.

    Nancy and Augie spent the day experiencing the charming city, going to the beach, and riding bicycles around the temple complex. Their report follows.
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  • Day5

    4) Roadhouse

    December 11, 2018 in India ⋅ ⛅ 27 °C

    We awoke on the houseboat to a lovely breakfast where I attempted to eat my body-weight in toast & jam. Narrowly failing, my effort hampered only by the mathematical impossibility of intake equalling a mass which itself increases in direct proportion to the quantum of consumption, I waddled toward where the car dropped us off the previous day to find the car was not there as expected. Recalling that cars were mobile by design, I deduced it was likely elsewhere so wandered as close as I could to the luxury houseboat company building to pilfer their Wi-Fi so as to contact our travel agent. Connectivity successfully stolen, our car arrived shortly afterwards.

    It transpired that the car would, functionally, be our home/house on the road for the rest of the day. We were in store for a twelve-hour journey as we drove from Kerala to Bangalore. Well our Driver, Mosses, would be driving; cars being single-operator vehicles by design.

    As such, there's little to report in terms of activities. Charlotte and I briefly sang some musical numbers to the extent of our varying abilities and lyrical recollections. I could keep pace with much of the Julie Andrews / Oliver! stuff, but she lost me when she went full-on Phantom of the Opera. David and I enjoyed listening to That Mitchell & Webb Sound from my phone via the car speakers, connecting via USB (the car lacking Bluetooth by design). Charlotte didn't enjoy it, expressing her preference for low-brow comedy scribed by uneducated simpletons to which she can relate.

    As we progressed I perceived a gradual advance in the apparent affluence of the areas we were passing through. This was backed-up by the initially-sporadic then increasingly-frequent appearance of beloved western brands such as Subway, Dominoes, McDonald's and Rentokil. We eschewed, however, the typical British custom of taking a McToilet break and instead sampled the facilities at various other roadside establishments. These occasional stoppages, necessary when all other stoppage had failed, entailed engaging in something of a 'bowel-movement bingo' ; Would there be toilet-paper? Would there be a toilet-seat? Would there be a toilet at all, or a one of those squatting holes I worry I might lack the physicality to actually use, having been seriously neglecting leg-day lately.

    Our only other 'stop' category was those to replenish the stocks necessary to require the former. We purchased and consumed a wide array of snacks to sate our hunger, pass the time and distract from the growing tedium of each other's company. I particularly enjoyed the bar of Dairy Milk Bubbly I bought, which was offered a bulkier and oddly creamier take on the bars offered in England. As a result of thickness, Charlotte initially mistook it for a choc-ice.

    Eventually arriving in Bangalore, we checked into a beautiful hotel where David and I were able to enjoy our first hot shower in five days. Separately, I hasten to add, our flight/room/bed-sharing throughout this week rendering bathroom-moments our only times of actual personal privacy.

    After a day sustaining ourselves on crisps, biscuits and cakes we decided to give our arteries a real run for their money and have dinner at Pizza Hut. Sensibly ordering their most famous dish, David and I's food arrived without issue. Charlotte however ordered some saucy, shaped wheat-dough mixture that arrived cold and wasn't up to much when reheated. Let this be a lesson; all non topped-flatbread offerings are an affront to the Hut's menu and we should vote with our mouths and boycott these imposters (impastas?) and enable demand/supply dynamics to determine their discontinuation. Except Ice Cream Factory.
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  • Day6

    5. Bangalore Reception

    December 12, 2018 in India ⋅ ⛅ 27 °C

    For our day in Bangalore, Nam recommended that we visit Lal Bagh. Translated as 'The Red Garden' in English, it is a 240-acre botanical garden in southern Bengaluru primarily constructed during colonial occupation with a Persian architectural style, formerly home to an exotic zoo, still home to various rare bird species and one of the most popular tourist destinations proving, if proof were needed, that I've finally got a decent connection to Wikipedia.

    As an ambassador of the former colonial power, I enjoyed a typically English breakfast. Corn Flakes (invented by American John Kellogg), Tea (Asia import, presumably not imported in this case) and toast with jam (origin disputed, but likely middle-eastern). Toast is as historically ubiquitous as the bread it's made from, coming about when someone had the whiz idea "well it worked out the first time, let's slice it smaller and do it again."

    Our first task for the day was to switch hotels, en route passing by the stunning parliament building and a smaller, newer government building that our driver told us was called something that sounded like "mini banana soda", which I refuse to look-up as there's no way the real name will be as good.

    We checked into the YMCA, where we heard it'd be fun to stay, and met up with Roger; Sid's friend from work who'd be joining our group and thusly my blog and Facebook friends list for the remainder of the trip. Charlotte and I had met him before, but I had no recollection of him. It took little time to recall why. Roger works for bank; quite possibly the most boring industry one can have the misfortune to be connected to. Whenever anybody in the profession attempts to converse with me, be it concerning their work or otherwise, I lapse into a dull daydream of overwhelming disinterest, emerging only once the excruciating mood-murderer had moved forth to their next victim. This does occasionally make my job rather tricky.

    Roger aboard, we crammed ourselves into the five-seater (our bigger vehicle to accommodate our increased number arriving tomorrow) and headed to Lal Bagh. I'm not sure why it's called the 'Red Garden', my Wi-Fi is gone again, but for an area consisting mainly of topiary, foliage and water features even if absolutely committed to a naming methodology incorporating a primary colour I could think of two better choices right off the top of my head.

    Two-hundred and forty acres large with a glass house based on London's Crystal Palace (Wi-Fi's back!), recent plans to demolish a portion of the site to enable the construction of the new metro line has caused controversy, lead to a contingent of citizens to come out in a series of protests against the loss of greenery and recreation space in the city. Initially well-attended, these demonstrations have attracted dwindling numbers as activists became increasingly frustrated with the logistics of getting to the protest site, public transport links being somewhat lacking.

    The park is exceedingly pretty, features of note including a rocky hill offering views of the Bangalore skyline, a stone bust of Dr Mari Gowda (a horticultural hero by all accounts) and a strangely popular abandoned building which had it attracted the crowds to the same degree when it was whatever it was mightn't have ended up becoming abandoned. There was also a Bonsai garden full of Bonsai trees, which I found slightly odd as I'd always been under the impression that Bonsais were popularised amongst those that lacked the space for a real tree/garden setup. It's like filling a cinema auditorium with 32-inch flatscreens. Or a Tamagotchi zoo.

    Our driver next took us to a craft store he presumably had a measure of business arrangement with to browse the available wears. I was genuinely interested in some of the items on offer, being precisely the sort of thing I was looking for as a souvenirial solution, but they went for the hard-sell approach, so I issued a hard-pass.

    Before heading back to the hotel we stopped off for a late lunch at an Indian restaurant. Acknowledge obviously that every restaurant we eat at here, purely geographically, is an 'Indian' restaurant and most have even been 'Indian' by way of specialist cuisine, but this was the first Indian Indian restaurant we'd visited that was making such an effort to apply an Indian aesthetic to such an overt and stereotypically clichéd extent. Patterns on the ceiling, gold-trimmed wall-hangings, vibrant fixtures and fittings, 'that' music playing (you know the sort) and with an elaborate water feature in the centre, it was as if the remit was to distil down every trite touristic expectation as regards an Indian eatery and check every tick-box when designing this diner, becoming an emblemic distortion as to culture it purports to represent. Much like what the Beefeater chain attempts to do with Britishness, or at least used to before they got rid of their 'beefeater' imagery and replaced it with a cartoon cow, undoing a cute visual pun in favour of a reminder of the cute animal whose life is sacrificed for your chips & peppercorn-sauce accompaniment. #veganuary

    Before heading out for the evening, Charlotte, David and I went out for a wander near the hotel, roughly attempting a route Roger had described to us as having completed the previous day; a basic loop round the surrounding area. Had they not been refurbishing the pavement across 60% of the route, forcing us to walk mostly in the dusty dirt, this walk might have been entirely uneventful. Still might be, depending on your personal perspective on the noteworthiness of slightly scuffing-up one's shoes.

    For the evening Roger and I went fully suited, mine being my tailored ensemble purchased on my last trip in Hôi An (see blog post "Hôi An Then...An then, An then, An then..."). David wore a shirt/trouser combo with velvet jacket; apparently Nam's favourite of his wardrobe options. Charlotte couldn't find the dress she'd planned to wear, possibly because she channelled efforts into Instagramming her circumstance of bring unable to find it instead of looking for it, but eventually chose an alternative ensemble that we considered entirely appropriate for the occasion but that, according to Charlotte's reports of a couple of 'looks' she received during the evening, mightn't have been a pan-reception concurrence.

    Were I being reductive, I might describe the reception as a 'catered photo-shoot'. But, located in an absolutely stunning hotel setting with a stage and high-calibre lighting with a phenomenal range of appetisers, mains and desserts this was far from your average point/click/munch affair.

    Once again, there was a refreshing lack of formality to proceedings; the 'reception' just sort-of occurring whilst everyone invited generally pottered about the place, taking their own snaps or filling their bellies. The happy couple spent, as a loose estimate, 99 9% of their evening on the stage as rotating configurations of family, friends and possibly crashers joined them on-stage to be immortalised forever in photographic form.

    Having gorged on ample Indian food earlier in the day, my main focus here was on desserts. In addition to a lovely coconut creme caramel there was a delicious, creamy, custard-like concoction that tasted rather like rice pudding with the rice removed (an odd omission given the prevalence/popularity of the substance here). I was later told it was basically milk with sugar, but then that's probably what rice pudding is too.

    A little later the wedding cake was cut, adding a further option to the dessert table that I dutifully made a second trip for. An apparent custom that differs from what I've observed in the UK is that when the cake is cut, the bride and groom take slices and feed first each other then some of their family. I'm not sure why this is a thing, there was nobody on hand to explain this to us, but I've got to believe it's more symbolic than them all just being hungry.

    After spending literal hours in front of the intense lights, the bride and groom were eventually able to mingle a little. One of the guests, I'm presuming a relative, had been intermittently singing songs, I'm presuming romantic songs, both for Nam and Sid and to entertain the guests throughout the evening. He had an excellent voice but, not to be outdone, as soon as the microphone was transitioned to karaoke-mode Nam positioned herself to deliver a sweet serenade to her husband of 'How Long Will I Love You?'. As usual, her voice was so good that few stepped-up to follow her. One of the younger guests gave us a performance of 'My Heart Will Go On' ; a song I've heard far more times this week than average for a song 20+ years old. Perhaps it has a particular cultural relevancy here in India that we don't relate to. Perhaps Titanic was subject to a delayed release and the country has only recently experienced the beautiful yet doomed obsession between Jack & Rose / pubescent boys & Kate Winslet's tits.

    I haven't yet mentioned the dress. OMG it was, like, totally fabulous. I wouldn't habitually render much comment on a bride's attire, save for an obligatory vague compliment, but I was genuinely taken with Nam's choice. With the wedding feeling like a deeply Eastern experience, the reception overall had more western overtones, without losing an Indian essence. As such, Nam's selection of a fairly traditional-looking western-style wedding dress with undertoned floral patterning felt like a perfect crest for this cultural clash. Sid looked alright too.
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  • Day8

    Father & Son Time

    October 30, 2015 in India ⋅

    We went to the planetarium with an auto (the really little car that makes riding in a car an ADVENTURE! If you don't remember) while slowly going through thick Bangalore traffic soaking in the sounds, smells, sights of the city from within.
    We watched a show about the solar system, also a short film about conserving energy not "light polluting" the night sky...
    We played a bit, guided by the director of the planetarium in a science park with cool scientific exhibits.
    Then we traveled to a hospital with ANOTHER auto, dad operated with Manju while for more than an hour I was in a small consultation room reading, eating garlic bread (sounds like me doesn't it)
    Then we had a rest and went to a very nice restaurant with Adrian, Claire and Manju's sister's family as this was Adrian's and Claire's last evening.
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  • Day3

    Park Fun!

    October 25, 2015 in India ⋅

    Yesterday we went to a botanical garden and I got to see a tree fossil over 200 years old, a rock fossil over 5 million years old and a giant granite Hill over 500 MILLION YEARS OLD! Saw a nice big Lake and fed some monkeys that climbed on my shoulders! Also there were 120 monkeys hiding in a bamboo shrubbery and saw a pelican and a crow team up on an eagle!Read more

  • Day7

    Lion Safari but without the Lions!

    October 29, 2015 in India ⋅

    We started the day with a safari early in the misty morning.
    We were hoping to meet Tigers and elephants but sadly no, we were all a bit afraid seeing the small jeep we were going with with not much protection, "sitting in a cage" at the back of the jeep.
    We had a 90 minute beautiful 4x4 ride in a forest, saw buffalos, deers, lizards, birds but no tiger or elephant despite 30-35 tigers, up to 450 elephants living in the game park.
    Then we had a long drive home through villages and towns, observing rural India, different religions, colors, smells and tastes on the road.
    Again we experienced the chaotic but seemingly safe driving habits of Indians driving without lanes, going around, overtaking each other from all sides, directions and using there phones on the road as well as on a motorcycle!
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  • Day1


    October 23, 2015 in India ⋅

    I'm finally here yes! It's quite hot and is nothing like New Zealand, the airport showed me that! Also from the picture the dog Oscar watches us while we eat. Also today I tried rice pancakes with nuttella, it tasted like peanut butter for some reason. And I also saw a college were the students have to do most of the the work! And also a 4 hour long presentation no jokes! Yawn it was even more boring than class! Oops I take that back Miss DuncumRead more

  • Day266

    Meine arbeit in Indien

    February 28, 2018 in India ⋅

    "Unterschätze mich niemals.
    Ich weiß mehr, als ich sage.
    Ich denke mehr, als ich spreche.
    Und ich bemerke mehr, als du glaubst."

    In der Schule in Koni gibt es einen geregelten Tagesablauf. So können sich die Kinder gut orientieren und es gibt ihnen Sicherheit im Alltag. Er besteht aus Gruppen Aktivitäten, die immer eine Lehrkraft leitet, die anderen vier Lehrkräfte geben während der Gruppen Aktivitäten jeweils einem Kind Einzelunterricht.
    Der Tag sieht so aus:
    1. Zähne putzen und Haare kämmen
    2. Morgen Kreis: Begrüßung, Nationalhymne singen
    3. Meditation und Gymnastik
    4. Spaziergang
    5. Gebet
    6.Gruppen Unterricht, zwei Gruppen
    7. Sing und Spielkreis
    8. Mittagessen
    9. Gruppen Unterricht in Kannada(indische Sprache)
    10. Basteln
    11. Spaziergang + kleiner Spielkreis
    12. Abschluss Kreis
    Die meisten Aktivitäten gehen eine halbe Stunde lang.

    Ich habe jeden Tag fünf oder sechs Gruppen Aktivitäten geleitet und sechs oder sieben Kindern Einzelunterricht gegeben und das alles in sechs Stunden. Das hört sich nicht nur anstrengend an, sondern das war es auch! Es kommt eine Aktivität nach der anderen und es dauert seine Zeit bis man routiniert arbeiten kann.
    In dem Einzelunterricht geht es zum einem darum, dass die Kinder einzeln Aufmerksamkeit bekommen und sie lernen in dieser Zeit gezielt lesen, schreiben, sprechen und rechnen.
    Dies wir mit einer Methode unterrichtet die "Read and Talk" heißt. Sie wird in den Niederlanden und Österreich bei Kindern mit Down-Syndrom angewandt. Die Kinder lernen zuerst lesen, indem sie sich bildlich Worte einprägen und dadurch lernen sie zu sprechen und dann auch schreiben.
    Da ich mit dieser Methode noch nicht vertraut war,habe ich unter Anderem auch die Kinder und Erwachsenen unterrichtet, bei denen der Fokus nicht so sehr aufs erlernen gerichtet ist sondern vor allem auf Muskelaufbau und -erhaltung. Das heißt ich habe viele Körper Übungen gemacht und auch mit basaler Stimulation und Massagen gearbeitet.

    Die Freiwilligen und Maartje (die Leiterin) unterrichten auf Englisch und die zwei Indischen Lehrerinnen unterrichten in Kannada (so heißt die Sprache, die in diesem Teil von Indien gesprochen wird). Sehr viele Kinder benutzen aber auch Gebärdensprache.

    Nach dem ersten Tag war ich super überfordert, obwohl ich nur zugucken musste. Alles war so neu inklusive 18 Kinder Namen, die ich noch nie gehört hatte.Ich war mir ziemlich unsicher ob ich alle diese Aufgaben bewältigen könnte. Da Maartje zuerst krank war und dann vier Wochen im Urlaub wurde ich mehr oder weniger ins kalte Wasser geschmissen.
    Mein Lieblings Song und auch mein Überlebensmotto wurde "what doesn't kill you makes you stronger" und am Ende waren alle Sorgen umsonst und ich habe alles gut gemeistert und sehr viel gelernt.
    Nach sechs Wochen bin ich nun sehr froh Thilo in Mumbai zu treffen und gemeinsam mit ihm weiter zu reisen.
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  • Day247

    Kinder mit besonderen Bedurfnissen

    February 9, 2018 in India ⋅

    "Anders, ist nicht falsch, bloß eine Variante von richtig" - Julia Engelman

    In Koni leben zurzeit 18 Kinder, Jugendliche und Erwachsene und es können jeder Zeit mehr werden. Sie leben mit vier indischen Frauen zusammen wie eine große Familie.
    Der jüngste ist 8 und die beiden ältesten 35 und 51 Jahre alt.
    Es gibt nur sehr wenige Orte für Menschen mit Behinderungen in Indien und deshalb bleiben sie oft in Koni, auch wenn sie bereits Erwachsene sind. Sie helfen dann viel im Haushalt mit und unterstützen die jüngeren Kindern.
    Die Behinderungen der Bewohner sind sehr unterschiedlich. Es gibt sechs Kinder mit Trisomie 21 (Down-Syndrom), manche haben Autismus oder autistische Züge, andere haben Epilepsie und einige haben Lähmungen (Infantile Cerebralparese). Es gibt drei Jugendliche/Erwachsene, die im Rollstuhl sitzen.
    Alle brauchen verschiedene Unterstützung im Alltag und beim Lernen.

    In Indien werden, vor allem in ländlichen Regionen, Menschen mit Behinderungen ausgegrenzt, versteckt, weggeschickt und oft sterben sie früh.
    Tausende Menschen ohne Behinderung kämpfen schon auf der Straße ums tägliche überleben, da hat ein Kind mit Behinderung wenig Chancen.
    Es gibt wenige Heime, deshalb haben die Kinder die in Koni leben großes Glück.
    Ursachen für Behinderungen sind unter anderem Armut und schlechte Gesundheitsversorgung. Dazu kommt, dass die Eltern wenig bis gar nichts über Behinderungen wissen. Sie wissen nicht wie man mit solchen Kindern umgeht und was sie brauchen. Aus Unwissenheit und Überforderung entsteht oft Gewalt.
    Den oben beschrieben​ Umgang mit Menschen mit Behinderungen in Indien, konnte ich als Tourist nicht so erleben und sehen, sondern er wurde mir so beschrieben. Im Gegensatz dazu war ich erstaunt, das einige Eltern ihre Kinder ab und zu hier in Koni besuchen und einige Kinder auch manchmal nach Hause gehen.

    Alle Kinder machen auf mich einen fröhlichen Eindruck. Sie freuen sich immer sehr auf die Schule und möchten gerne etwas lernen. Jeder der offen auf sie zugeht und Zeit mit ihnen verbringen möchte wird herzlich empfangen und aufgenommen.
    Diese Kinder haben mein Leben auf jeden Fall sehr bereichert!
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You might also know this place by the following names:

Bangalore Urban

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