Impressions of India Part 2 – A Brief Stopover in Bangalore

A few months ago, I introduced you to my former colleague David Bader (and his unique way of seeing things), as he visited India on a work familiarisation trip.

India is high on my list of places to visit, for a number of reasons; firstly, my long-time best friend has family roots in the Gujarat region, and I would love to explore her ancestral home. Secondly, another very good friend and fellow blogger Kathryn, from Travel With Kat, has been there several times and openly cites India as one of her favourite places in the world – and you can’t get better praise than that. Finally, India has recently been increasing its interest and involvement with astrotourism, a subject very close to my heart, with organisations such as Little Hands Infinity leading the way.

Birds flying home to roost across the Jama Masjid mosque in Delhi. Photo by Sourav Das.

We now join David on days 3 and 4 of his visit. As with the first article, (I recommend you read it first if you haven’t already done so!) it’s a collection of his thoughts and observations, told as only he can tell them. Here is the second instalment of ‘Impressions of India’.

Day Three

Third day in India, third type of noodles
Triple Espresso needed today
Three hours of sleep is too little….

Why does everyone want to carry my bag all the time? It makes me uncomfortable…

Why is there no Wi-Fi? No Wi-Fi, no business!

I’m at the Delhi office again. The Norwegian Trolls I have brought for the office quiz have been released from the bubble-wrap. I hope they’re feeling OK 😀 I can talk for hours about my love of Norway, which is just as well…

‘What time of the year is the best time for the Northern Lights’?

Hmmm…perhaps you could read the information pack first?

The Northern Lights, or Aurora Borealis, seen from Norway. Image by Stròlic Furlàn & Davide Gabino

LUNCH!! Buffet!! Foooood!!

And again someone wants to carry my bag..

So, that was my last visit at the Delhi office – I learned a lot about people, but I didn’t get to see who won my Norwegian Troll! Off to the airport and Bangalore for a workshop. 😊
OK, I now know car horns are used to say ‘Make way, I’m coming through’ / ‘Go away’.

Or else they are used to say…

  • ‘I’m bored’
  • ‘others are doing it, so why not?’
  • ‘hello, it’s nice to see you’
  • ‘hey, you are in my way’
  • ‘there’s a possibility that you might be in my way at some point, so I’ll just honk anyway’

Above all else, your horn should scare people…HONK HONK!
Remind me to never complain about Oslo traffic ever again.

Nooo..the plane from Delhi to Bangalore is going to be late! Our domestic 3-hour flight has been delayed by 2.5 hours. Compensation! Refund! Discount! 

The traffic looks as bad on the runway as it is on the streets.
People still want to carry my bag.

Zzzzzzzzzzzzz…midnight noodle snack and Redbull on the plane.
Arrival at Bangalore at 2am, weird to be sightseeing at this time of night.

Bangalore by night, photo by Crispin Semmens

Suddenly, 22 degrees feels so cold…

Hey, traffic seems to be much calmer here!
Honk honk… never mind, I take back what I just said.
I’m at the hotel, but not happy with a 5-stars since I found out there are 7-star hotels. Wi-Fi is a nightmare again! Got to be up in 3hrs again…ahh but sleep is overrated!

Day Four

Sleep IS overrated… 3 hours is more than enough, I’m OK.
If you tell me to be ready at 7.45, I am ready at 7.45. Why are you so surprised? 🙂
(But of course, you think only the Swiss show up at the agreed time) 😉

Different city, different breakfast..
No more bacon ☹ but wow, the coconut chutney is amazing.
I forgot to praise the coriander & chilli chutney from yesterday in Delhi.
Oh, and I lost the fight against a stomach bug. Nothing a pill can’t fix.

Hello Mr David, can I carry your bag?
Hello Mr David, can I carry your bag?
Hello Mr David, can I carry your bag?
NO! My bag! MINE! Ok fine, since you already grabbed it out of my hand!

Still accident free, both in traffic and with stomach bug, if you understand my meaning!

Visvesvaraya Park in Bangalore by VHines200

Streets of Bangalore. Photo by JCHessma.

Bangalore is very different from Delhi, the centre seems somehow cleaner.

Again no internet at the workshop. A guy sends me to reception to get the wi-fi code, they send me to another dude, who sends me to the conference guy, who sends me back to reception. Ahhh, it’s the guy putting up the cables that was supposed to give me the code. He looked confused, but grabbed a paper in his pocket and gave me the code.

NO is not an answer for me – I will find a way 😉

It seems calmer today then yesterday, and there are many more work-related questions. Today’s winner of the Troll didn’t even say thank you. My last Troll feels lonely now. He is going to meet his new owner tomorrow.

I had something for lunch which was really sour, but really good.
Southern Indian food is also delicious.

Hmmm – there’s a customer complaint. I’ll have to look into this, because it seems weird that this could happen. It’s midday – time for a 1 hour power nap before we head off towards Mumbai. 😊

Bangalore street traffic, by Ramon Casha.

That was a quick visit! Off to the airport for Mumbai now.

Hello Mr David, can I carry your bag?
Rush hour traffic… this is just insane… why do people even bother to have a car here, you can’t get anywhere? 4km in 1 hour, walking would have been faster.

1-hour queue at check-in *sigh*. On board, I’ve been given some weird soda drink with lime and mint, strange. The little boy in the row in front of me is standing up on his seat and is always staring at me.

BOOO! Oops, lol, I scared the shit out of him.

Took him 30 min before he looked again.

Hello Mr David, can I offer you something to eat?
How do you know my name? Ah yes, I am the only white guy on the plane!
Noodles! HOT HOT HOT! But tasty.

There’s a meet and greet service with my name on a sign at the airport… I feel important
It’s warmer here in Mumbai,  and because it is raining it feels even hotter.

Mumbai rain by Satish Krishnamurthy

Check into hotel, meh… not that impressed but guess I am not in the 7-stars category…I don’t feel so important anymore 😉
I think I’ll go for a walk outside.
The aroma 😊
The smell ☹
This is new..people honking at me from their cars as I WALK past?

So much street food to choose from –  it’s a challenge! I go for grilled chicken… yum!
Let’s see how this helps my stomach situation 😀

Above and below: Street food in Mumbai, courtesy of Marco Zanferrari

Now I have been watching Indian TV news in Hindi for hours and I don’t understand anything, even though every now and then they use English words.

Time to sleep.

Thankfully, the ‘stomach bug’ pills are still working!😀

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Disclosure: David is Purchasing Manager (Norway and Iceland) for a global DMC, and a former colleague of mine. He lives in Oslo. All views and opinions expressed are those of the guest author. Images courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons resource. For some more vivid and regaling tales from this land of contrasts visit Travel With Kat. Tune in soon for Part 3 of Impressions of India.

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10 Responses

  1. How fun to present musings and a snapshot in David’s style. This is the way I write and keep notes in my journal, but never imagined posting in that manner. Can see some rethinking is clearly in order as I totally enjoyed being transported back to my favorite country in this quick style. Nice job!

    • Sara Dobak says:

      Ha, Alison – that’s exactly what I thought, as I’ve said earlier – it’s quite a refreshing style, isn’t it? I’m so glad everyone is liking it!

  2. Lucy says:

    The honking of car horns, crazy traffic and food markets – brings my India travels right back! It’s such a unique place, though pack plenty of stamina (and maybe some earplugs) along with your stomach tablets!

    • Sara Dobak says:

      Love the advice – pack plenty of stamina…haha! I’m beginning to feel like a travel blogging pariah here – am I the ONLY one who hasn’t been to India yet?!? 😀

  3. Car horns in India – an overriding memory of mine. That an oncoming herds of cows coming at you down the main road. I loved India too so much colour, vibrancy, wonderful food and such gentle, kind people. Definitely somewhere I’d love to return to some day.

    • Sara Dobak says:

      I must question David on where the cows were on those days! India seems to be blossoming as a destination more than ever these days, and I’m really hankering for a first visit.

  4. Anna Parker says:

    I love this post, what a fun way of writing! The car horn is essential in India – our driver said a horn and good luck were essential to drive in India. I haven’t been to Bangalore, but to Hyderabad with work. Whilst I preferred our visit elsewhere in December, the business cities are fascinating too. And I never carried a bag anywhere either, I could get used to it, and door opening!

    • Sara Dobak says:

      Cheers, Anna – as I’ve just said to Heather, I may have to adopt David’s writing style for a couple of articles, it makes for entertaining reading 🙂 It’s interesting that you were also there for work, I wonder if the bag-carrying and door-opening is as prevalent for non-work trips…

  5. You’ve captured the atmosphere of India – I was in Bangalore last year and enjoyed the city, there were parts where we could easily walk around, others where the traffic was terrible, fun to explore the food scene and markets too.

    • Sara Dobak says:

      Thanks, Heather – it’s all down to David’s snapshot style…I may have to try that technique myself one day! I hope to discover India’s wonderful contrasts for myself one day.

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