20090519 (Day 3)
Bangalore is, I’m told, less populous, more sprawling, less polluted and- thanks to the IT and construction boom- more affluent than much of Southern India. English is spoken everywhere to some degree. The region is entering the monsoon which means it’s cooler than normal but humid and it rains each afternoon and some evenings. It’s very tolerable, they used to call it the “air-conditioned” city. This is also the wedding season and in the evenings little temples are lit up and there are celebrations and dancing spilling into the street. It’s an overwhelming culture shock. Weird juxtaposition outside the office where an ox cart stands next to parked cars in front of an advertisement for a website. My company is taking care of most of the details. This is a relief. I’m adjusting to the time zone better than my colleagues and don’t feel lagged but do get a caffeine headache at 4am.
The local cuisine is not as hot as you’d think, savory and spicy. They do have these little red pods that look like a dried currant but definitely aren’t- those are hot. Everything is settling well.
The hotel is a business apartment in a gated compound. Clean, slightly dated but adequately modern. Air conditioned and with amenities including 24-hour security (even a taxi driver mentioned how the extremists frighten everyone). I’m having trouble with hot water but it might just be the shower valve as my colleagues have it scalding hot. There are also random blackouts that last anywhere from a few minutes to an hour. I’ve already been caught once in the hotel elevator for five minutes of darkness and now take the stairs.