Archive for the ‘Bangalore’ Category

A visit from Singapore

Mittwoch, August 9th, 2006

Talking about returning visits…my friend Jochen, who is currently working in Singapore and whom I visited a few weeks ago, has come to town. He arrived late at night (like everyone coming from Singapore to Bagalore), so we started the weekend by sleeping quite long.

Afterwards, we did a sightseeing/temple tour in Bangalore. We visited the city market, then went to the Bangalore castle (pretty boring, not much to see). After a short break at the Cubbon Park, we went on to the ISKCON (International Society for Krishna Conciousness) temple.

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TOTW: Poverty

Freitag, August 4th, 2006

So, how much poverty is there in Bangalore? A hard quastion, because there are different ways to describe poverty. Say, we take German standards. Then most people here in Bangalore probably are very poor and could by far not survive in Germany with their income.

On the other hand, the same income is rather medium in India, and they can in fact live here (and do so :)). There are few people who live on the street as such. Many people live in small huts, three walls built onto an exisiting wall, and plastic as a roof. This is very common on building sites, as these are the places where the workers sleep. I think this are mainly workers from outside Bangalore, who are here for a job.

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Chronicles of a Sightseeing Tour

Sonntag, Juli 30th, 2006

Like any good tourist, I decided to go on a sightseeing tour in Bangalore, together with Verena. Like any good tourist, I booked one at the KSTDC, the Karnataka State Tourism and Development Corporation. This is the offical tourist agency of Karnataka. We booked an all-day tour (half-day tours were not available on weekends), which was scheduled to start at 7:15 am.

So I got up at 5 am (well, I set my alarm clock at 5 am, and got up at 5:20 :)), and we set off with our driver (we figured it would be easier than getting a rickshaw this early in the morning). Well, I called it a chronicle, so:

5:00 Wake up.

5:20 Get up, shower, eat an apple as breakfast

6:00 Leave for the KSTDC headquarters (Driver, the day before: „Takes us at least an hour“)

(mehr …)

TOTW: Food

Freitag, Juli 21st, 2006

You might be wondering what you have to eat, should you ever come to India. Well, inBangalore, you can get everything. There is, of course, the Indian food. North Indian and South Indian, but I don’t find a big difference between them. As far as I know, they use different spices, but I still think the food is very similar. Then, you get all the other Asian food, especially Chinese food is very often found in restaurants. And you can also get European and American food. However, I yet have to find a Schnitzel here :).

(mehr …)

TOTW: Commercials

Freitag, Juli 14th, 2006

They are big. They are everywhere. They are…ads. And Bangalore has a lot of them. Most ads here in Bangalore are hand-painted and they come in two variations:

  • Large billboards, which are just some type of fabric over a metal frame. They so not seem to be very strong, so after a bit of wind or rain you can see some of them ripped to bits.
  • Ads painted on the walls of buildings and in (stone) fences

The hand-painted ads often feature nice and artistic drawings, and generally all ads are very people-centric – you rarely see an ad which shows only the product and not a Bollywood star (and always a star, not just someone) presenting the product. Also, building ads are very common („60% complete“).

(mehr …)

TOTW: Animals

Freitag, Juli 7th, 2006

Bangalore’s animal population seems to consist of mainly three species: cattle, dogs, and ravens. Cows, being a holy animal in the Hindu religion, roam the streets mostly free. Sometimes they are accompanied by someone, or bound to a tree, but mostly they just walk around – or stand on the streets. Yes, a lot of times you can see a cow standing or even laying right in the middle of the street, and traffic just (tries) to flow around it.

The dogs, on the other hand, are much less liked, but much more common. The dogs are all medium-sized, mostly brown, and I am sure they are mostly cross-breeds. They usually just sleep somewhere on side of the streets, or try to find something edible in the litter laying around. Bangaloreans don’t like them, and especially at nighttime people carry large sticks with them… The dogs also proudly take their part in creating the unique Bangalorean soundscape. Barking is especially heard in the evening and the night. Unfortunately for the dogs, Indians do not break for them like they do for cows, so frequently they can be found as roadkill on the major streets :(.

(mehr …)

How Bangaloreans party

Montag, Juni 26th, 2006

There is one big problem when you want to spend the night out partying: Each and every club in the city will turn on the lights at 11:30 pm the latest. Since the police comissioners son hat a fatal accident after a night of partying, this rule is in place and is stricly followed by the club owners. So, to have a longer party, you have to do it out of Bangalore.

Which brings us to the next problem: You have to know about it. And that works usually this way: Some Indian you know knows someone, who knows someone, who knows someone who knows where a party is. But he doesn’t know how to get there. So he calls another friend who knows where it might be. You drive some time, and you discover: He doesn’t know… so he calls another friend, who finally know, and you get there only 1.5 hours after you set off…but that’s the way it is.

(mehr …)

TOTW: Pollution in Bangalore

Freitag, Juni 23rd, 2006

Pollution in Bangalore has three aspects:

  • dust,
  • exhausts, and
  • litter.

Bangalore is very dusty. The main reason for this is that many streets are not paved, so every car throws that dust in the air and carries it onto the paved roads, where it collects on the side of the roads. The air is usually very dusty, and only the rain provides a brief relief.

Also, the cars are a great contributor to pollution. In my opinion, less than 25% of the cars here would pass German TÃœV (exhaust control), and especially the many lorries blow clouds of black smoke into the air.

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TOTW: Traffic behaviour in Bangalore

Samstag, Juni 10th, 2006

I just created a new category: the topic of the week, or TOTW. It will contain observations of what struck me as interesting in this week. And I can’t resist, I just have to start with the way Indians drive.

Even though there exist some traffic rules somewhere, noone seems to care. Especially the right of way is determined by the size of the vehicle, the amount of blowing the horn, and whoever gives up first. That usually leads to a great confusion on crossroads during traffic peaks, because noone is willing to wait and let someone else drive first. Sometimes you can find traffic cops or private security people with their white gloves (it’s hard to see dark-skinned Indians gesturing in the night) on crossroads, but only on the big ones and during peak hours.

(mehr …)

How to dine in Bangalore

Sonntag, Mai 28th, 2006

Well, not exactly dine, but „How to lunch in Bangalore“ sonds quite a little bit starge. This Sunday, we went to the Leela Palace for brunch. We includes me and the other residents of the SAP guesthouse. It should be mentioned that the Leela Palace is a five-star hotel and about the best place one can stay in Bangalore – that is, if one is able to pay for it, with prices ranging from 250 Euros per night upwards.

As expensive as it might be, going for brunch there is affordable for 1000 Rs (20 Euros) at the Zen, the Asian restaurant in the Leela Palace. 20 Euros might not sound much, but keep in mind that you usually get a very good meal for about 300 to 400 Rupees, so 6 to 8 Euros. The menu included every food one can find in Asia. It starts with a sushi bar with a length of about 10m. A nice starter are chargrilled meat sticks, with a choice of pork, beef, chicken, mutton, and prawn.

(mehr …)