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December 6th 2006
Published: January 18th 2007
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Well I survived my Indian "easyjet' flight to Bangalore, it was odd to fly after so many months of travelling around in clapped out old buses, trains, scooters and cycle rickshaws - it felt so modern and a little alien! Bangalore is definitely a fast developing city with the traffic to match; think M25 during rush hour without the lanes and throw in a meddle of other vehicles, animals, people, horns, flashing lights and smartly dressed traffic cops directing the flow - no one takes any notice of the traffic lights! It's one of the main technology centres in India and the road infrastructure has not kept up with the rapid expansion.

Negotiating the roads and pollution, I arrived at the Indrianagar Club, a rather posh 80's styled sports & social club in a very nice western neighbourhood; Parveen, had very kindly arranged a guest room. I couldn't stop smiling to myself as I looked out the bedroom window to the pool, tennis courts and palms below... it was like something out of a Bond movie where the woman is thrown out of the window into the pool below, far to posh for me.

Although it was rather late I wandered along to Parveen's to drop off some of my stuff... oh the joy to lighten my bag. I was rather nervous as P is quite a formidable character but we were soon chatting away about the highlights of Bangalore and working our way through her impressive antique jewellery collection. It's never to late for jewels!

Thurs 7th Dec
We'd had a slight mix up with the Rudkins arrival dates, so I had a day to explore the city and do some washing before their arrived and after sweet talking the clubs manager into reorganising the rooms, rather an impressive feat as rooms are booked months in advance I set off in search of some food and train tickets. It's a lovely area, full of coffee bars, restaurants, beauty parlours, huge houses, well kept parks, posh shops and luckily it has still retained some of it's character.

Friday 8th Dec
I hardly slept with excitment of Sue and Gill's arrival and was awake before my 4.45am alarm sounded! Working my way through the early morning traffic jam (I couldn't believe it!) to the airport I found out from a rather scrappy notice stuck to the outside of the arrivals building that the flight was delayed and wasn't due to arrive until 7.45am - ahhhh. I hung around outside with the waiting crowd, got myself a coffee and then realised that you could pay to wait inside where there were seats and a loo, so I sat down with my book. Finishing my book and still no expected arrival time I sat people watching and was surprised to find myself in tears - a combination of the early start, excitment and vivid imagination; whole families turned up with gifts and flowers, children were reunited with parents, friends, husbands with wife’s, it was all very emotional.

Finally after 5 hours I saw them, huge smiles as the approached the exit. It was so great to see them but just didn't feel real; I had to keep pinching myself. A shower and quick chai and we were off for the day, first to Parveen's and then to get the girls some rupees...ummm the rudkins had arrived.... after numerous phone calls to the UK and trips to the bank they were finally armed with cash, well Gill, Sue's bankcard having expired yesterday!

Onwards to my new favourite restaurant - a thali joint in the centre of town and a chance to catch up on the news of the last few months, sample the local cuisine and for Sue to badly cut her finger on a rusty nail on the loo door!

Bandaging up the patient we set of to Chinnaswammy Stadium, where there was an annual book fare.. need I say more Sue disappeared to the children's section, Gill to fiction and me to the crafts... There was an amazing aray of English books on pretty much every topic and at great prices, it was hard to contain oneself, but I kept thinking how heavy they would be to carry!. Growing tired we wandered around hopelessly searching for an auto - why is it there is never one when you need one... it was to become a Bangalore frustration!

Eventually we made it back to Indrianagar to pick up some flowers for Parveen, they smelt amazing but unfortunately we got completely lost trying to find her house and ended up wandering the streets of the area having no sense of direction in the dark. It was just by chance and a few phone calls we made it, and dribbled back to the club for an early night and pack before we headed off to Tamil Nadu.


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