entering the land of the gods

a study abroad journey




This weekend, Melissa and I made a weekend getaway to the city of Bangalore!

Bangalore is located 600 km South of Hyderabad. It is the capital of the state of Karnataka and is the 3rd most populous city in India next to Mumbai and Delhi (with Hyderabad following in 4th place).

Bengaluru (or Bangalore) literally means “Town of Boiled Beans.” Legend has it that it got its name after an old woman served cooked beans to a lost and hungry king. 🙂

Bangalore has established itself has a top center for science and technology. It became the first city in India to have electric street lights and in the 1940s, India’s first aircraft manufacturing company was built in Bangalore. Today the city is best known as a hub for software and electronics development, and business process outsourcing. http://www.bangaloreindia.org.uk/index.html

I figured that Bangalore would just be another big city, like Hyderabad, but they are actually quite different. Bangalore is much cleaner and much more organized. The traffic actually follows road regulations and the style of dress is much more western. The public buses are much nicer, Volvo air-conditioned, but are much more expensive. Similarly, the rickshaws look brand new compared to Hyderabad but we were advised not to use them at all due to the racked up prices.

Melissa and I just had a few goals for the weekend:

  • Visit Grover Vineyards for a wine tasting
  • See the Lalbagh Botanical Gardens
  • Relax and meet people!

I am happy to say that all of the above were accomplished during our stay, though not always the way we expected them to 🙂

A friend mentioned to me the other day that I only blog about my good experiences. Well, I do have some bad or frustrating times but normally choose to focus on the best aspects. However, some of the terrible experiences make my time here even more interesting.

For example, I got my first minor case of “Delhi-belly” this weekend. After a great night out in the city on Friday, I was up all night sitting on the toilet! Fortunately Melissa brought some medication and I felt fine by midmorning the next day.

But the most frustrating experience…I am almost too embarrassed to tell any one but I’m sure you will all get a good laugh out of it. Our train back home was leaving at 10:10pm on Saturday night. We made it to the station with plenty of time to figure out where our train would be arriving. There was a train on the platform and the monitors were saying that our train would depart at the correct time from the same platform. I had walked up to the standing train to check the posted papers but the destination point was unfamiliar so I walked away. Melissa and I waited and waited. Soon it was 10:10 and the train on the platform still had not left. A local began chatting with us and told us not to worry- Indian trains always run late. Finally at 10:20 the train pulled out of the platform. We waited for another 10 minutes waited for our train to pull in….but all was empty. When we inquired about our train the station master said that it had just left. What?! We thought, did we get the wrong platform. Nope. Our train was the one sitting in front of us for 30 minutes!! We were shocked, appalled, frustrated….

By this time it was too late to catch our train at the next station so our next best option was to catch a bus to Hyderabad. So we take a rickshaw to the bus stop and try to get a seat on the bus, which was ready to depart asap. Fortunately there were 2 seats left but they were in AC (air conditioned) class which means we paid dearly for it. In the grand scheme of things the price was very reasonable, but compared to our train tickets in Sleeper class it was a huge different. I guess that is the price we paid for our stupidity 🙂

Needless to say, I did not get much sleep this weekend. But enough about that, I have some great experience to share with you!


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