Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Bangalore Mania!

Excuse me, but does that tree look like a bud. G~man? It is, in fact, an indian tree in the sativa family, or was it the cannibis family? I can't remember. Monaji?
Hello everyone. I think I can finally take a breath here from running around Bangalore like a headless chicken! I have spent the last 3 days buying textiles, riding around in an autorickshaw, and watching Eileen's mind being blown out by my lovely, chaotic India.
Each year, it is clear that Bangalore will continue to explode upon itsself. I didn't even recognize my own favorite hotel when we arrived. The wall in front was gone, the road is 2 lanes wider, there is no sidewalk anymore so that my morning walk can set my spirit free. In fact, just now I had to drive to the place that I normally walk to. It's just too dangerous now.
I am being amused by Eileens reactions to stuff like cars coming within 1/8 of an inch, um milimeter from crushing a motorcyclists leg, or a bus turning left within inches in front of us. I realized that I am used to it, and it doesnt scare me anymore. Eileen hasnt really crossed the street yet, and by that I mean, cross an 8 lane road with thousands of cars, buses, rickshaws, motorcycles and people all at once trying to do what they have to do.
Why did the Indian man never cross the road?
Because it was bloody impossible!
She said to tell you if it's up to her, she wont cross the street EVER!!!! Hee hee, we can't walk around the block forever now, can we? She also would like to report that she will pay someone 20 rupess to take her across the street in a taxi before she will do it herself.
Last night we went out to a lovely dinner at Ebony. Such good food! The power went out about 10 times while we were up there, and while I didnt say anything to Eileen, I was wondering if we would be walking down the 13 flights of stairs. Better to walk then to get stuck in the elevator, nah?
Tonight we have been invited to the home of the family that I have bought my fabrics from for the past 7 years. So Eileen and I just picked up some lovely white roses for the Mrs. and yesterday, we bought some lovely salwars so that we will look like proper Indian ladies when we go.
Eileen has reminded me that I am now a smuggler, all that wheeling and dealing at the DHL office and all. Man, I can't take me anywhere without getting into trouble. The very awesome manager of my hotel has given me some very important lessons in the art of baksheesh. Now for those of you that don't know, baksheesh means bribe, but it also means tip, or gift, or some blending of all of the above. Let me just say that with baksheesh, all things are possible. The cotton um, erm, polyester is now on it's way to my house in California. :D
In other news, I can tell you how awesome it is to walk into a shop, restaurant, hotel, internet cafe, and be greeted with a familiar face or two, or three, or um, 25 or 30. In India, once you get a good job, you do not give it up. The people that work in my hotel have been working here 10, 20 and 30 years or more. So they all remember that scared wide eyed American woman who first came to India in 2002 in search of....well, myself, and some textiles too. Of course now I just boldy march in waving and smiling, namaskaring and smiling.
Yesterday I saw a dead dog in a ditch on the side of the road. I am not sure why, but it has been really bothering me. In the US, I dont think there are too many people that would leave a dog at the side of the road and not give it a proper burial. It probably got hit by a car inthe middle of the night. You guys are going to think I am weird, but I went over to the dog, and I said a prayer for him, and I told him, that I am the one person in this world that cared about him. Someone had to. No creature deserves to die and then be left at the side of the road forgotten. If I could have I would bury him, but where to do that I wouldnt know. I think it made me especially sad because when I went to India two years ago, I had put my dog to sleep 3 days before I left California, and I was very attracted to dogs that year. Quite a few of them ended up following me around. When Karenji and I returned home that year, we also learned that her family dog had been hit by a car while she was gone. We both lost our dogs that month. I don't know why I connected that with this poor doggy in the ditch, but I did. I don't need to make sense all of the time, do I? Just say a little prayer for that doggy for me, ok, and I will feel a lot better.
It is alot hotter in February than in December here, and the smog in Bangalore is terrible. But, the new airport, one hour south of the city, is state of the art, lovely, efficient, and painless.
Now if you are all worried about that India/Pakistan thing, know that I am far away from Pakistan and Mumbai, and that I am safe, and that there's not a Pakistani or an Indian on this sub-continent that has it out for me. Try not to worry about that and send peaceful vibes instead.
Hope all is well in blogland.
Love, Susie


barman said...

Do I detect an Indian accent in your typing? I think so. To funny.

Glad you got the business out of the way and time to have a little fun.

I do not know if I could be into playing frogger trying to cross the street. Yikes that sounds like a ton of people. I am so happy to be in an area of about 250,000 people. Nice and peacfull.

It is amazing your transformation in 7 years. Wow.

Thanks for the blogby update.

lime said...

glad all is well even if the changes in just a year are astonishing to you and poor eileen is shell-shocked. it really must be wonderful to be greeted warmly by folks who remember you and to be given insider information.

mrratburn said...

yes madam! wheeling and dealing it is! I hope you enjoyed your 15 course lunch...and ice cream!
have fun tonight...
off to work/school at dawn....

S said...

LOL Barman, yes I am talking like an Indian already. But, I have been told my accent is terrible! Hee hee!

Yes Lime, I am having a ball, and since it's way past the cocktail hour, may I just say, woo hoo to the drinky I just had!

Hello Mr Ratburn, wish you were here!

amadeus45 said...

So glad you arrived safe. I will send positive energy your way--no more worrying!

Looking forward to reading your blog as the Indian Adventure rolls along. And just so you know, your posts always make my hungry :p

Now, about that poor doggie carcass--the sight of him dead on the road would have really shocked saddened me. Do the Indians not have an ASPCA? Or do they still eat dog? Sorry, bad joke.


S said...

They dont eat them, SSS, they just dont know what to do with the bodies I guess. Not the way we do it in USA.


And hello!

RennyBA said...

To read your travel report from India is a thrill - thanks so much for sharing in all its details and description of the atmosphere. Your such a great representative of the global generation!

Thanks also for taking your time to visit and comment too - greetings back from Norway, me as well as Diane :-)

Fortress Guinness said...


glad you made it ok suse...!!!

shame about the bigger road and the smog...but hey, that's Globalisation for ya...!!!
and shame about the little doggy too...see above... :(

have a fab time anyway...looking forward to the next post...AND...
don't forget my stinky sticks ok...??? lol ;) xxx

coachKaren said...

So lovely to hear the stories - our hotel so changed? Are the monkeys still in the tree in the front? So glad you guys are having fun and you are holding eileen's hand as she crosses the street! I will be back with you sometime!! In total envy now! Enjoy enjoy enjoy! Ebony was the food still great and the night view of the cricket fields possible despite smog? Be safe hugs and thanks for saying a prayer for the doggie.

Mona said...

That is Arc aria tree. it is how Christmas trees grow in India, like huge phallus es!

Bangalore is terribly crowded now. It has been really disappointment to visit when I went there lat time. ( My family-in-law lives there)

Its terribly polluted too!

In Agra, at least five dogs die like that everyday!

S said...

Kerenji, the yong man at the counter at our hotel asked about you! (The one you gave the travel guide to)
I think he has a crush on you madam, afterall, it has been over two years and he still remembers you! Woohoo!

C-BAZ and ARTAX said...

Nothing but good vibes coming from us here. It sounds like you are having great times(I know you will be safe there). Very touching what you said to the dog. Baz and i will pray for the doggie. We will keep checking in to hear and see more about India. Take care Auntie.

P.S. clip the Bud and send it home

Blither said...

Rotf! Big Bud! You're a hoot.