Sampangi Lake

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    • Day 35

      Indien Tag 8

      February 4, 2020 in India ⋅ ⛅ 26 °C

      Und immer noch im Bus...🚌
      Die Nacht im Bus haben wir mehr oder weniger durchgeschlafen. Nicht mal alle Pipipausen haben wir bemerkt. Um ca 5:30 Uhr wurden wir dann geweckt, wir waren wieder in Bangalore. Sobald wir ausgestiegen waren, hat uns natürlich wieder ein Tuk Tuk Fahrer abgefangen. Für 200 inr (ca 3€) fuhr dieser uns zum gleichen Hotel in dem wir vor 2 Tagen genächtigt hatten, da der Besitzer des Hotels uns angeboten hatte unser Gepäck dort unterzustellen. Da es noch sehr früh war tranken wir noch einen Tee zum Frühstück. Wir suchten uns im Internet ein (günstiges! ) Café in unserer Nähe heraus und machten uns zu Fuß auf den Weg dorthin. Es stellte sich heraus, dass dieses Café in einem 5 Sterne Hotel untergebracht und nicht gerade günstig ist. Wir entschieden uns wieder zu dem Coffee Day zu gehen, in dem wir schon vor 2 Tagen waren. Auf dem Weg dorthin fiel uns ein, dass ein Shoppingcenter auf dem Weg lag, welches einige Cafés auf einer Art Dachterrasse hat. Wir gingen hinein und bestellten zwei "Pizzazungen" , einen Tee, eine warme Schokolade und zum Nachtisch einen Brownie und einen Cookie. Gesättigt machten wir uns mit dem Tuk Tuk welches nur 38 inr kostete, auf den Weg zurück zum Hotel. Dort angekommen wartete schon der Tuk Tuk Fahrer, welcher uns bei unserem letzten Besuch angeboten hatte eine Stadtrundfahrt für 500 inr (ca. 6€) zu machen, auf uns. Wir nahmen das Angebot an und so ging es mit dem Tuk Tuk durch Bangalore. Wir sahen ein paar Tempel, besuchten den botanischen Garten, er zeigte uns fast jedes Staatsgebäude und zum Abschluss ging es in einen Souvenirladen, zu dem uns schon fast jeder Tuk Tuk Fahrer fahren wollte. Dieser gehört anscheinend zu dem Tuk Tuk Unternehmen, also werden dort auch alle Touris abgeladen. Wir schlenderten also durch den Laden, in der Absicht nichts zu kaufen lehnten wir jedes Angebot dankend ab. Anschließend wurden wir wieder zu unserem Hotel gefahren. Dort angekommen entschieden wir uns, noch einmal zu dem Restaurant Mittagessen zu gehen in dem wir schon mal zu Mittag gegessen hatten. Das Servicepersonal erinnerte sich noch an uns uns wir bestellten zwei Cola und Masala Dosa (ist mit Kartoffelfüllung). Gesättigt ging es zurück zum Hotel, wo wir unsere Rucksäcke abholen. Glücklicherweise trafen wir unseren Tuk Tuk Fahrer wieder, welcher uns schon einmal für 80 inr (ca. 1€) zu dem Coffee Day gefahren hat, also ging es erneut dort hin. Endlich gratis Wifi 😁. So konnten wir problemlos mit dem Geburtstagskind zuhause telefonieren, bis es dann um 8 Uhr zu unserem Nachtbus ging. Als wir ankamen stand er schon da und wir konnten direkt unsere Betten beziehen. Die Besatzung des Busses war sehr laut und die Gerüche extrem, also war unser Schlaf, bis um 12 Uhr, dementsprechend kaum vorhanden. Tag Ende.Read more

    • Day 26


      September 26, 2022 in India ⋅ ⛅ 25 °C

      Bangalore, la capitale du Karnataka, est sans doute la ville la plus occidentalisée d'Inde. Celle-ci s'est développée récemment en devenant le lieu d'accueil des startups et entreprises de l'IT, d'où elle tire son surnom de "Silicon Valley of India". Si Bangalore est une ville à l'atmosphère très stimulante, celle-ci attirant de nombreux jeunes venus y faire carrière, il reste très compliqué d'y circuler. J'ai néanmoins pu y déguster des spécialités très belges. Mon hostel se trouvait à proximité de deux chaînes de "Belgian Waffles". Les gaufres belges sont très connues en Inde, mais relèvent bien plus du marketing que d'un réel savoir-faire. Il ne s'agit ni de gaufres de Bruxelles ni de Liège mais d'un étrange entre-deux plutôt industriel. J'ai demandé un nappage au "chocolat belge" et la serveuse m'a bien évidemment recouvert ma gaufre de Nutella. Plus spécifiquement, Bangalore est reconnue pour ses micro-brasseries. Je me suis donc empressé de goûter celles-ci à la célèbre "Bier Library". Bien que décevante par le nombre de bières disponibles (seulement trois à la carte), ces dernières se sont révélées de bonne facture.Read more

    • Day 135

      Final destination Bangalore

      February 12 in India ⋅ ⛅ 31 °C

      Hüt gahts zu eusere letsche destination in Indiä, Bangalore. T Inder seged au ganz stolz, the silicon valley of India 😉.
      Am spötere Namitag simmer i eusere underkuft acho. Plaged vom hunger simmer uf t suechi vo nach öpis essbarem. Alli hend echli gnueg vom indische ässe, au wemmer eus einig sind, dass es sehr delikat isch. Mir hend eus für es asiatisches restaurant (ja mir wüssed indisch isch au asiatisch 🙃) enschiede und hend dumplings und ramen nuddle gesse. Wir hend de marion ihre geburztag na gfiired, au wenns zwei mönet zpaat isch. Das hemmer scho am afang vo eusere reis in indie wellä mache, hends aber echli verpasst 😅😅. Mir hend mit Daiquiris uf ihre 25. Geburztag agstossä, und das zum 9 jahr in folge 😉.Read more

    • Day 5

      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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    • Day 6

      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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    • Day 9

      Better late than Never

      December 15, 2018 in India ⋅ ☀️ 25 °C

      The following is taken from an unfinished working draft compiled on the morning of Sunday 16th December 2018. Words have been inserted and phraseology amended in an attempt to achieve cohesion but, given the mood and sentiment being conveyed, this is rarely achieved. Reader discretion is advised.


      I've just about had it with this fucking country.

      I mean, seriously, would it kill you to put a sodding sausage on your breakfast menu? Here I am/was in a fascinating facsimile of a top-class hotel and I head downstairs for the most important meal of the day to find, literally, not a sausage. And don't try to sell me on your continental, not even *your* continental, salami-style spicy red things...I'm talking a proper British banger, fried or grilled I ain't picky, cooked to bursting point and ready to be plated or shoved into a bap with a dollop of ketchup and maybe a dash of mustard if I'm feeling fruity.

      From what sentiment is this glaring omission borne? Some sort of offensive overhang from colonial times? Well let me tell you the Romans used to rule over England but not once have I boycotted the pizza. Quite the opposite in fact. Oh, and I notice you're quite happy to have stacks of American pancakes on offer with maple syrup; because they're such a ruddy faultless nation. Well, I suppose Canadians are. They think they're a country; so adorable. And yes they were delicious and yes I had my fair share and then some, so a typical American portion, but you better be watching yourself with these double-standards or we're gonna have a proper falling-out.

      Oh and then to be patronised on our way out by Mickey Mouse was the icing on the also-delicious French pastries on offer. Obviously not the actual Mickey Mouse, but if India was a theme park conglomerate with television, movie and merchandise monopolies spanning the globe, then this was the guy in the oversized suit signing autographs. His attire was so overwhelmingly, stereotypically 'traditional' that if you'd sliced him in two it would read 'India' through the middle, like some bloodied and presumably now-dead stick of Blackpool rock. I'd have taken a picture of him, but that would have been buying into the crass commercialism you're obviously trying to peddle here and I'm not buyng.

      So we were on the road, literally the worst place and the place we have predominantly been whilst in India, but thankfully only briefly. After a moment's respite on a deserted viewing platform, which by our presence we soon made 'serted', we headed in grand-old-duke-of-york tradition to the top of a hill where we found a cluster of temples.

      I say 'found' like this was an easy task. No, as if trying to hammer-home their status as '2nd biggest population on earth', the area around the temples was absolutely packed with people. What's more, these people weren't even tourists...they were here to 'pray' or something, I don't know I don't speak the language, and so had no concept of the impediment they were causing good folk like us trying to both reach and then photograph these religious establishments.

      And these people were forming queues to get inside; taking the single most crappy part of British culture and extrapolating the concept ad nauseum. Now I don't know about you, and I don't much care, but I've never witnessed people having to stand in line to enter a church (apart from that one time, which I won't mention as it undercuts my argument). And there was no 'visitor' or 'premium' entrance we could make use of; to see the innards of this genuinely impressive structure dedicated to Chamundi, the slayer of Mahishasura with some sort of connection to Shiva and for whom the hill we were up was named, we would have to queue along with them. We had no time for such nonsense so didn't bother.

      We would later be told that the main temple was dedicated to the wife of Shiva, which my Year 7 Religious Education recollections misremember as 'Pavlova' as opposed to the more correct 'Parvati'. Preferable childhood memories remember it as being 'Kali', as in "Kali Maa...Kali Maaa...Kali Maaaaa...Shakti de". Incidentally, if Indiana Jones & The Temple of Doom was intended to act as a realistic cultural advertisement for this country, which without fact-checking I presume it was and was well-received as such, then it completely fails to live up to the expected standards; I've experienced precisely nil elephant rides, zero meals of miniature snakes inside a bigger snake and only a handful of minecart chases.

      Bypassing the madness of the goddess temple, we went to the far less popular, quieter and less impressive temple dedicated to Shiva, which really is modern-day feminism run amock. Here we were conned into leaving our shoes outside in the general vicinity of some dude just sitting about whom, upon our re-emergence, expected payment for having not stolen them. Our guide to the temple, whom we hadn't formally hired and just sort-of started showing us around, also expected payment which was fine as he did something of genuine worth, the temple was well kept, his narrative interesting and the red dot he popped on my forehead aiding with my cultural immersion though being thankfully impermanent, but the 'shoe-watcher' did literally nothing. I eventually paid him something because Charlotte gave me one of those 'it's only a couple of quid, you'd spend more than that on a cup of coffee' looks and also said something to similar effect. Also a cup of coffee has genuine tangible worth and I tend to order Americanos, which rarely breach the £1.89 mark.

      It was a question of relativity more than anything; paying some guy to sit on his arse, which he'd been doing anyway, somewhat close to our footwear devalued the worth I'd expressed by giving only a little more than a couple of quid to our tour-guide. Had I been able to find him again and slip him a little extra I mightn't have begrudged the trainer-guardian a little something, but he'd already wandered off to find his next group of outsiders to vaguely walk alongside till assimilating himself as their chargeable chaparone. It was akin to equating a farmer with a scarecrow, which is an equivalency you really shouldn't make in a country pub when most of the patrons own shotguns.

      Roger witheld payment. I've never respected him more.

      We fought our way back through the throngs of locals to our driver, who was able to pick us up in a convenient place only by completely disregarding etiquette and traffic laws and seriously inconveniencing a multitude of coaches. He proceeded to deliver us to some palace, 'Mysore Palace' I'm presuming via extrapolation of location and thing, which was a vast, elegant structure with many beautifully architected(?) rooms that I might have enjoyed had I not had to lug around my shoes with me instead of on me because, surprise surprise, here was yet another place where sporting my moderately expensive, soft-soled and extremely comfortable footwear wasn't welcome. Whilst presented as some sort of 'display of respect' for the regal and religious traditions of the nation, I'm suspicious that the whole ruse is a long-game con by big pharma to stimulate demand for athletes-foot treatment and, much like flat-earthers, until science completely and utterly refuses this hypothesis I will presume it to be absolute verified fact.

      We had off-brand cornettos and I saw a camel. Best/least-loathsome part of the day by far.

      We next went to another palace, the 'Summer Palace', which is what rich folk used to have before conservatories. Entry cost to this miniature structure, containing some impressive if somewhat dilapidated wall paintings, varied in proportion to how much of an Indian you were. It was a binary scale, with residents being charged a set fee and foreigners being quite fairly charged a measly twelve times as much. Much like we do in the UK when international visitors pay £672 for a day at Alton Towers except of course they don't because that would be fucking racist and also nobody goes to Alton Towers without a coupon.

      Mysore done, we began the drive back to Bangalore, where we'd be spending our final evening/night at a party/shindig being put on by the former bride/groom, now husband/wife, for people that had travelled to the wedding/reception. On the way the driver asked if we'd like to stop for some food and we said we did and he asked what sort of place do you want to stop and we said let's try an Indian version of a foreign place we were familiar with like McDonalds and he said okay so he asked which one should we go to and we discussed it and said McDonalds and he said "McDonalds?" and we agreed we'd said McDonalds so he knew we'd said McDonalds and he stopped at KFC. Whilst we enjoyed our KFC, which tasted like chicken, a road traffic accident occurred right outside the restaurant and our driver took it upon himself to go and mediate the resulting confrontation between perp and victim. It was the only shit I'd seen him give about road safety all week.

      Given the general, rampant lackadaisical attitude of seemingly most road users through the week I was genuinely surprised we hadn't observed more incidents of this sort. Indeed it's true what they say, even though it patently isn't, that when you wait forever for a bus two come along at once. The onward at one point became an onward standstill as some sort of incident up ahead brought traffic to a halt. We were too far away to see what had caused the accident. It might have been a bus. Or perhaps two buses, travelling concurrently and thusly colliding. We needn't have worried though (albeit I sincerely hope nobody was hurt) as the line of vehicles behind simply drove off the road into a field, in doing so churning up said field from a bland yet naturally consistent grassy green into a muddied, muddy mess. Was this legal? Whose field was it? Were the vehicles capable of safely traversing this non-road surface? Didn't matter.

      We arrived in Bangalore in the evening. Absolutely meeting the established low-expectations already held, the driver first took us to a lovely, centrally-located hotel where we tried to check-in only to be told we had no booking and the correct hotel was some fire subsidiary lodgings out in the suburbs. Eventually arriving we had to change and leave with exorbitant quickness so as to get back into the city for our evening activity, a mere stone's throw from the not-our-hotel we were first taken to.

      Arriving at the gorgeous, decadent destination (another hotel ; one that I think, had we been earlier delivered here, I expect from instinct would have been able to judge as out of our range), we were late but the newly-weds were even later, demonstrating such deep fashionability as to justify their own designer lines. I'd personally love a stylish/ironic Muthukrishnan/Ramanan branded wrist-watch.

      Nam and Sid had laid on a very lavish get-together/party for all their visiting guests before we all headed off home. Hosting on the top-floor / roof bar of the absolute best hotel in Bangalore (of the five I'd visited, which is a sufficient sample), there were nibbles and an open-bar and the mood and spirits of all those present only enhanced as the mood-altering spirits were consumed.

      All well and good you might say? All's well that ends well you might say? Well, so I thought at the time. Only now, on reflection, do I notice the truth. See, the genuinely generous and excellent evening did actively and efficiently damper the memories and experience of our nightmarish day, but is that really healthy? Being coaxed, by way of free provision, into such indulgement really only amounts to a coping mechanism, providing surface-level relief but causing unhealthy repression that could cause long-term damage. And I say this with the authority of somebody who's seen every episode of Frasier, much of Cheers and that one cameo in Wings.

      Even in the short-term, the ramifications of this treatment were/are severe. After hours and drinks-a-plenty we collectively went back to Nam's brother's place which was both further away than I expected yet not as far out as it felt. There followed the provision and intake of further intoxicants until I think about 4am or so or thereabouts, my uncertainty on this being a part of the problem. Somebody called David and I a taxi and we got back to the hotel around an hour and a half before we had to leave for the airport so we smartly decided we'd have a quick kip.

      I don't really remember what happened next, but we definitely didn't wake up when we were supposed to, something presumably instigated by a third party did successfully wake us up and we thusly hurriedly swept our cluttered belongings into our bags then scrambled downstairs into our awaiting car to commence this confusing, disorienting and nausea-inducing journey to the airport (which, admittedly, might be stimulating less nausea were I not also typing this...).

      I recognise on reflection, now at the airport and eating a monstrous stack of French toast I'm hoping is a secret, undiscovered hangover cure, that this blog post might appear ill-tempered, exaggerated and totally unrepresentative of both my final day and my broad sentiment as regards my time in India. Whilst totally true on both fronts, I can't be arsed writing it all up again. So as to mitigate potential offence, I'll maybe wait a few months before posting it and plonk in a meta framing device that portrays the whole piece as a sort of found-footage/narrative piece. Yeah, that sounds like a really 'me' thing to do.
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    • Day 8

      Die großen Entwicklungsprojekte

      June 16, 2019 in India ⋅ ⛅ 29 °C

      Indiens Bevölkerung wächst sehr schnell. Damit die Infrastruktur mit diesem Wachstum Schritt halten kann investiert die Regierung massiv in den Ausbau der Straßen- und Transportnetze sowie die Energie- und Wasserversorgung.

      Indien hat bereits 1998 das National Highway Entwicklungsprojekt für den Bau von 50.000km Fernstraßen aufgesetzt. 2018 würde das Projekt in ein Dachprojekt ("Bharatmala") überführt. In Summe sollen 83.677km Straßen gebaut, erneuert oder verbreitert werden. Die geschätzten Kosten liegen bei 77MrdUS$. Das Investment ist sehr wichtig, denn ein Drittel der Ernte verdirbt bereits auf dem Weg vom Feld zum Geschäft. Die meisten Straßen sind nicht für schwere Lastwagen geeignet, wodurch für 1.500 Kilometer Weg fünf Tage benötigt werden.

      Während unserer Zeit in Mumbai und Bangalore konnten wir immer wieder die Baustellen der S-Bahn-Strecke in der Stadt sehen. Die Strecke verläuft zu großen Teilen auf Stützpfeilern.

      Neben Straßen- und Bahnnetz, wird auch an den Luft- und Wasserwegen gearbeitet. So entstehen viele neue Flughäfen und auch ein neuer Hochseehafen - der Vizhinjam International Seaport für ca. 1Mrd US$. Der erste und einzige Häfen für Hochseeschiffe in Indien. Die bestehenden Häfen haben nicht genügend Wassertiefe um durch große Containerschiffe genutzt werden zu können. Deshalb werden die großen Schiffe in Dubai oder Abu Dhabi entladen und die Waren auf kleinere Schiffe mit weniger Tiefgang umgeladen. Diese erreichen die verschiedenen indischen Häfen. Dadurch entstehen ca. 10% Mehrkosten beim Import von Waren auf dem Seeweg.
      Mit dem Bau des Vizhinjam International Seaport für ca. 1Mrd US$ sollen die Mehrkosten eingespart werden indem die großen Schiffe Indien direkt anlaufen können.
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    • Day 7

      Heading South

      November 24, 2018 in India ⋅ 🌫 19 °C

      On our last day in Delhi, we had a super late lunch at 4pm, our last meal as a large group. Our guide and bus toom us to a transit hotel near the airport. We napped, freshened up some, and got ready for the next leg of the trip - Mysore, Ani's hometown. The original ladies were headed home to the States and we said our sad goodbyes just after midnight.

      We caught a 3am flight to Bengaluru (formerly known as Bangalore), which landed just before 6. Ani arranged a driver for us, and we were off on the long drive to Mysore.
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    Sampangi Lake

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