Saturday, January 16, 2010

Highway On My Plate

I suppose I oughta make a post! So, what happened is that Keri stayed in Goa 4 extra days, came to Bangalore, spent the night, and then left back to Goa the next morning. I swear, she didn't even make it out of the hotel before deciding to go back. Now, I think I have told you, that Keri has blonde hair that is nearly white, fair skin and blue eyes, and is also quite curvy. The men here took one look at her, and they all started short circuiting! See, everyone in India thinks I am half Indian, and I like to say that I am, it works well here, I don't get stared at so much, and the people can relate to me a little better. So for me this isn't so tough to fit in. For Keri, it was clearly impossible.
So back to Goa she went for the rest of our trip. So the past few days I have been wandering around Bangalore on my own. Yeah, true, I have been here 7 times, and I love it here, but I was looking forward to sharing it...oh well.
So what have I done in the past three days? I went to a fancy movie theater and saw 3 Idiots, a blockbuster film which made back all their money in the first weekend it came out. It is really quite groundbreaking for an Indian film, with very little Bollywood sneaking in. Yes, of course, there has to be some Bollywood action in every Indian film, but the singing and dancing was minimal and really sweet. Kareena Kapoor looks adorable in her dorky glasses which she only takes off to have a good cry, and the main character in the film reminds me so much of someone I know in Mangalore. This film is about 3 college lads and their adventures in India. Even though the entire film was in Hindi, I still got it, and wow, what a film it was. When it makes it to the USA I highly encourage you to see it. With subtitles of course. 3 Idiots gets 4 out of 5 sewing machines for a rating from me!
While I was waiting for the film to start, I enjoyed watching the entire city of Bangalore freak out over a solar eclipse! Wow, what a rare treat. I sat outside on a patio of a coffee shop, and viewed the eclipse from a reflection on a water tower. Hundreds of people were so excited to watch this, while at same time thousands of people who believe that eating and going outside during an eclipse is a bad idea, so the streets were filled with celestial wonderers, while the goofball superstitious hid inside. Ok, now this is funny but also not...I read that in some villages people believe that if you bury your children up to the necks in cow dung during the eclipse, they will be removed of all their sins and impurities. Now apparently, last solar eclipse, or lunar eclipse, or something, the police in one of these towns which I cant remember the name, came along and found a bunch of little naughty kids buried up to their necks in cow dung and ordered them to be removed. The police also forbid the parents from doing this again, but this year, the eclipse found a handful of buried naughty kids again and cops had to remove the poor buggers! OMG what a country this India is. Also there was a man that buried himself up to the neck in garbage to do the sin removal thing. I don't know how pure he is today, but I do hope he got a full bath after that!
Additionally, because of pure ignorance, there were quite a few cases of burned out retinas the following day, from people staring directly at the sun during the eclipse. I knew that was going to happen. In fact, during the eclipse, I saw a bunch of teens staring right at the sun and I just couldn't stop myself, I ran over to them and told them how dangerous that was, and that they should stop at once. Thankfully, they listened to their American Auntie! Their retinas are thanking me today.
Ok then I went over and hung out with my pal Mir, in his lovely new shop. Mir has been reading my blog and reminded me that I haven't yet talked about his beautiful large, elegant, delicious, sumptuous, lavish art gallery of kashmiri handcrafts. It is 5 times the size of his old shop, and on a lovely corner where the breezes wrap around the building and make it a nice place to hang around and shop of course. Later that night, Mir came to my hotel and we had dinner at Alampur, home of the famous Gobi Manchurian, which is a Chinese spiced cauliflower dish and a specialty at Alampur. I am telling you, if you are ever in Bangalore, you must try Alampur, it's a fabulous restaurant.
After eating Mir and I wandered around Bangalore in the night but since the President of Ireland is staying at the Taj West End, a 5 star hotel near my hotel, there were at least 75 cops guarding the entrance to the Taj West End. They made us walk out into the street and not on the sidewalk. Sheesh, last time I heard, the President of Ireland isn't a hunted man, but good job, cop boss, he is quite safe. In fact, Mr Pres. is still at the Taj West End so I cannot leave my hotel until the president of Ireland says so. Seriously, the street is blocked by cops, lots of them! It's humourous.
Once I escape the confines and safety of the cops protecting the Taj, I will get to City Market for a photo taking day. City Market has colorful fruits, vegetables, meats, handicrafts and what not. I hope it will make for some lovely pictures.
Ok so yesterday I went shopping on Commercial Street, Bangalores famous shopping area which is composed of 4-5 streets running parrellel and then a long street on each end. There is also a mosque in the Commercial Street area and so I was treated to the sounds of the call to prayer. Really, it is lovely. Now, here is something I noticed about the shopkeepers in Commercial Street. Most are Muslims, some are quite lovely, but many of them are quite abrupt and make you feel a little unwelcome. I am here to tell you, that in all of India, this is the ONLY place where I feel a bit out of place and prejudiced against by Muslim people. Everywhere else, I am met with love. So, I am thinking this Commercial Street is a very tight knit Muslim community, and indeed, if you peek beyond the shops, you will catch glimpses of the women in their homes and courtyards, and see that they do indeed live here, as well as work here.
No matter what is going on with those sorts of feelings of indifference, Commercial Street is always a bargain hunters paradise filled with endless South Indian treasures. I had a great time getting lots of goodies for my Little Rita.
Ok then, I came back and fell asleep at 4:30 pm for 5 hours. Since I am leaving tonight and will be on other side of the world in 36 hours, it doesn't really matter when I sleep. I am going to be messed up anyway, with a 7 hour flight, a layover in Hong Kong, and then a 12 hour flight back to San Francisco, so sleeping where and whenever is not a big deal.
So I am off to take some pics of veggies, fruits, and meats hanging around from hooks, erm yuck. But I am hoping for some rocking pictures. My heroes, Rocky and Mayur

Oh I want to mention my favorite Indian TV show, which is called Jai Hind with Rocky and Mayur, Highway On My Plate. Something like that. It is a show in which Rocky and Mayur travel the world in search of foods like that Andrew Zimmern guy. But man, these two guys are hilarious and the food looks fabulous. Catch it if you can.
Have a lovely day and thanks for traveling along with me!


Queenmatrai said...

I had no idea about the burying of kids upto their neck...
Strange but then this is India.

lime said...

well it sounds like things have settled down without keri even though it's not what you wanted to be doing. i'm glad you've got pals you mir at least. be safe.

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Anonymous said...

i'm not sure where you'll be at right now...maybe you're already home and sleeping it off...!!! anyway, whatever, i am sending positive vibes for a non-stressful journey and hugs and kisses on the completion of your latest Indian adventure my dear...!!! don;t worry about the 'jossies' i still have plenty left from last year...!!! ;) much love xxx

RennyBA's Terella said...

Reading this, it's good to know you're home safe and sound, after all! and hopefully got'n your burgers and fries :-)

Rocky'n'Mayur said...

hey Susies the Boss...was trolling the Net for some research for our book and happened to come across your blog. Very kind of you to share that you like our show :) Highway On My Plate is our show on food and travel while Jai Hind is the show we do about life (and food of course) in the armed forces. Just thought to share. Glad you love our country so much :) too bad Keri did not stay to enjoy B'lore with you. You can find past episodes of the shows on the channels' website at in the Videos section. Have a good one :)


S said...

I am honoured to have been visited by Mayur!! WOW!