Metblogger brunch with Ravi
Metblogger RaviKumar met me at a restaurant out on Airport Road, near the Domlur bus stop, called Shanthi Sagar Hotel. (As I've written before, "hotels" are often just restaurants.) There he treated me to what he called a traditional Indian breakfast. Imitating my host Charles, I did take a picture of the food. We had something like an idly, and we also had dosas. Really good! He also informed me that local coffee comes from Karnataka state and that I really should take some home, though he added that it requires a certain kind of coffeemaking equipment that I don't have.
I had a fun conversation with Ravi, who was curious about my book and about the impressions I've posted here. He explained that the cow-blessing scene I encountered in Malleswaram yesterday was a new house blessing. According to him, they actually do lead the cow into the house as part of the ceremony.
Then we went to a huge hotel/mall called the Leela Palace. This is a so-called 7-star hotel that is truly on the scale of a hotel on the Las Vegas strip. We didn't even get into the hotel part, since the photo exhibit was in the mall. I was amused that when we entered the mall and asked the security guard where the photo exhibit was, he had absolutely no idea what we were talking about, and then I walked twenty feet over to a railing and saw the exhibit directly below us on a lower floor. Security guards are not reliable sources of information in general here, I think.
Also in the mall was the first really nice bookstore I've encountered yet -- the others have been dusty and poorly stocked. And the bookstore had several browsers. I was able to get a map of the city, not that I need it now on my last day here, but for reference purposes as I go back to work on my book.
As a crowning gesture, Ravi led me to one more new experience: a bus ride. This was one of the new Volvo buses that are air-conditioned and very comfortable and modern; they are also, according to my research, a symbol of the new middle class of IT and BPO workers, and have been attacked in the past. (News story from Oct. 2006.) And in fact, one of the windows of the bus was cracked, as if a stone had been thrown at it.
I appreciated Ravi's time and conversation so much. Thanks Ravi! (Update: Ravi later interviewed me by email.)
Labels: Bangalore infrastructure, Bangalore trip