Bangalore

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On January 17th I arrived in Bangalore after a 21 hour plane trip. I flew Air India from Chicago to Bangalore.

I knew I was not in Kansas anymore when I arrived! Bangalore is bustling even at 4:00 am.

For the first 3 days I was getting over the jet lag. You read about jet lag, and you think you experience it flying from Cleveland to California.... No. at 10.5 hours time difference your body tells you that noon is 1:30 am.... You wake up feeling OK, and then about mid day you crash....

I am going to be working in Bangalore for six months Bangalore is in the state of Karnataka (car-nah-tah-ka). It has a population of 6.2 million people.

Bangalore is not for the faint at heart. It is a very beautiful city with many cultural and historical sites.

It is also India, and not the United states. It is very crowded. Walking down the street you are amazed at the number of people. India is 1/7 the land mass of the US, and has 4 times the population.

Everywhere you go you will see people selling. It is almost as if Bangalore is a city of Merchants. Anything you can imagine is sold here.

There are downsides. There are beggars, some of them with heart wrenching conditions (Or seeming so, as many are scam artists). It is very dirty at times. Garbage gets piled in areas. People throw trash over the wall. The air pollution is so thick you can cut it with a knife. If you have asthma, you might want to minimize you time here. You will encounter smells, sights and sounds that may cause you to recoil if you are not prepared for it.

Overall, I am loving it after the first two weeks. I am being careful to only drink bottled water, and and being very careful about what I eat. Luckily we have several very nice restaurants near the apartment. Right across the street is an acclaimed Continental restaurant that serve some of the best steaks I have ever had.

Bangalorians are on the whole friendly and helpful. It is a pretty city, with many trees and parks. Part of this is because it is a major Indian Army post.

1-17-05
Some of the first pics are from the airport in Frankfurt Germany. The flight I was on started in Chicago, stopped in Frankfurt, Mumbai (Bombay) and then finally Bangalore. The airport in Bangalore was basic. Once I was off the plane with all its high tech gadgetry, I was in India, with crowded lines, long queues, and lots of bureaucracy.

1-18-05
On the 18th we went to the Nanhindi restaurant. Very good Indian food. Also here are snaps of my apartment, My driver (just his jeep), and where I work.

1-20-05
Pictures on the balcony of Cathy and Mikes apartment. We then went to Shezan's restaurant for dinner. Indian, Chinese, and continental cuisine
1-22-05
I took a tour of central Bangalore. Pictures in here are ladies carrying things on their heads in from of the Cafe we get together at, and then pics from the Parliament, the high courts, and the Russell Market. The market was build in 1927. Nearby is St Mary's church, built in 1818.

1-23-05
Brunch at the Leela Palace. A very decadent experience. Numerous entries (30 or 40), deserts (as many). And champagne poured the whole time you are there. It is a wonderful way to while away the afternoon. We spent six hours there talking and eating. Cost was about 25 bucks.

1-25-05
We were busy on the 26th. January 26th is India's Republic Day, the day they signed their constitution. We went to the Tipu Sultan's palace (he was the person who ruled this area in the 1780s. We then went to a Hindu temple next door. You must remove your shoes and sock before you enter. We went to the Lal Bagh Botanical Gardens, created in 1750. Here is a tower (looks like a small temple) that was built (one of four) in 1537 to mark the boundaries of Bangalore. There was a flower show going on. We also went to the aquarium while we were there. We then when to the ISKCON (International Society for Krishna Consciousness (Hare Krishna). It was closed for a couple more hours, so we went to a nearby temple celebrating the monkey god, Hanuman. Finally, we finished the day with a barbeque at a colleagues house.

1-29-05
I took a walk along Mahatma Gandhi Road (MG Road, as it is called locally) Many people, beggars, shops, touts, beauty......

2-5-05
Some shots around the Leela. Family Services School. This school was started up to teach the children of Day Laborers. Day Laborers in India move to wherever the work is. There is no compulsory education in India. As a result their children almost never get educated, and are caught in the same cycle of life as their parents. This is an attempt to break that cycle and give them a chance at a better life.

2-12-05
Temple photos. I went to the International Society for Krishna Concourses (ISKCON) temple. On the way I stopped at a roadside temple that had monkeys inside. After ISKCON, I went to the Bull temple. Walking out of the bull temple I wandered into a city park. There was a great racket, and I looked up and saw flying foxes, thousands of them. Coming out of the park there was a man selling Mehandi stamps. I photographed him applying it to a young lady there.

Wandering the Russell Market
The Russell market and Commercial street and the areas around are a huge bazaar. These are photos of the area. Of interest was the hawk (or raptors of some sort) that hang around the meat market. There are hundreds of them.

BannerGhatta
BannerGhatta is a wildlife park south of Bangalore. It provides habitat in natural surroundings for the animals.