Sunday, November 9, 2014

Last Day

It is Sunday morning here, our last day in Bangalore and India. Our plane departs at 03:45 Monday morning; we will leave for the airport at midnight. We will probably get home around 9:00 pm on Monday evening, assuming all connections and departures/arrivals go as scheduled. It appears that all our things will fit into our three suitcases, always good to know!

Dan got back Thursday evening from visiting four orphanages in the far south. He enjoyed seeing the good work they are doing. As often happens, he was considered an important visitor and had to make a speech in several places. Here is the program from one.

Saturday we all went to Barbeque Nation, an Indian chain we first tried when we were in Bangalore six or seven years ago. It is a wonderful place to overeat! I took lots of pictures.

First, the charcoal grill is put in the centre of the table
Skewers of starters (appetizers)
Starters menu
Seekh kabobs are brought around
Smashed small potatoes are especially delicious
After eating lots of grilled fish, prawns, mushrooms, etc., we are ready for the buffet.

Put down the flag to signal no more skewers
Buffet Menu 
Two of the curries
My plate sampling four curries and curd rice
My dessert sampler - cantaloupe, brownie, mango cheesecake, butterscotch pastry and ice cream
Dhruv's dessert - watermelon, brownies -- after ice cream
Dhruv didn't want to be photographed!
Nina and Mahesh
That was pretty much it for Sunday! We finished by 3:00 and no one wanted any supper. Below is a picture of Dhruv (11) with a bionic hand he made out of Legos.

On the way back to our hotel, we stopped at a market to pick up a few things. Nina bought some bananas that the vendor just sliced off the stalk hanging there.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014


We are having a quiet visit here so far. Dan left early Tuesday morning to visit some orphanages in the far south; he flew to Trivandrum. Tuesday was also a holiday so Dhruv didn't have school. He and I had a good time seeking out some chocolate at a nearby shop!

Monday for lunch we went out for a meal from Andhra Pradesh. It is served on a banana leaf. We had the "mini" meal, which primarily means less rice. In any case, I could only eat half of my rice!

Tomato chutney, cabbage/coconut, dal with spinach

Side dishes -- sambar, rasam, buttermilk and dahi (yogurt)

Dan enjoying the end of his meal


Abhiruchi restaurant from across the street
After finishing, we crossed the street to a sweet shop. I had some mango burfi, something I had never seen; it was delicious! It was bright orange and very mango-y in flavor. I was so excited I forgot to take a picture. (Burfi is an Indian sweet made of milk reduced to almost solid and with plenty of sugar.)

In the early evening, we went up to the top of their building, which is ten stories tall. The views of Bangalore were spectacular. It was smoggy in the distance, but still very nice.

Dhruv had school on Monday and this is just when he got home, uniform ready to be removed.

I've taken several walks around the two apartment blocks in this compound. The weather is very pleasant. People here are wearing sweaters because it dips below 80°F. The gardens and surroundings are lovely.


Canopy trees along the perimeter


Swimming pool (water is quite cool now)
Tuesday morning after Dan left I had tea and papaya at the B and B for a pre-breakfast, then joined Nina and Mahesh for a delicious savory vermicelli breakfast, a new dish for me.

There are a number of shops along the road we walk. I especially like this one's sign (it is a paper recycling shop). You can call Hari if you have any questions!

Monday, November 3, 2014

On the Road

Our taxi was on time, even a bit early. We headed down the hill about 1:00. As we left, we noticed the funeral truck waiting to go to the cemetery. They had decided to have the memorial service at Saroj's home on Tuesday afternoon.

We had tea with our friend Ajit and his sister in Dehra Dun. It's always good to see him. He had recently been ill, but was quite recovered. We had a lively conversation about music, Indian instruments, the state of music teaching at Doon School, and more.

We reached the train station without incident and enjoyed the comfortable ride and meal. Brij met us at the Meerut station and we headed off to their house. A pleasant two days followed. We were pleased to see the improvements to the house -- the first time I'd seen the expanded kitchen. The outside was also faced with new tiles and the ground floor had marble flooring. Very nice! Jason is 7 now and doing well in school. He has a very good and patient tutor who comes every evening and he seems to enjoy working with him. He loves to swing on the stairs and jump down to the floor.

We caught the same train into Delhi that we had arrived on. I took a few photos at the station. There are always people sleeping in train stations in India, and I managed to catch these right behind the bench we were waiting on. Across to the next platform, a local train pulled in and many people got on and off.

It was a short night, as we got settled in our hotel room about midnight and had a 7:00 taxi to the American Embassy. We needed additional pages added to our passports and were able to make an appointment here -- easier than mailing them off when we are home. We waited around a bit until we were allowed in at 9:00. (It was only a 40-minute drive but we never know how bad the traffic might be; in this case it wasn't bad at all. We were the first ones into the US citizens area, although there were more than a hundred people waiting in the tourist and immigration visa line for Indian citizens. The entire process took about an hour, then we headed back to the hotel and had some breakfast.

In the afternoon we took the Metro to the new Janpath station. It opens out right in front of Cottage Industries, with another exit close to the Tibetan shops. We had a good visit and some tea with Doma. She is 88 now but seemed in better condition than when I last saw her two years ago. 

We took the Metro again, this time to Mayur Vihar, across the river, where Anju and Sandeep live. They ordered mutton biriani, which was wonderful. It is made in clay pots, sealed with flour and water, wrapped in foil, and roasted. Absolutely delicious! Three of these small pots was more than enough for the four of us.

Another early morning on Saturday as we headed to the airport for our flight to Bangalore. Shortly after we left the hotel, our driver asked if it was all right to stop for a minute. He had some food for the pigeons at this intersection. While we were there, several others stopped to feed, them, too.

Mahesh and Dhruv were there to meet us at the airport -- so nice to see their smiling faces again after too long! They have shifted to a new apartment complex near their old one. It is very nice; it even has a swimming pool that looks lovely, but I don't have a suit with me! We spent the rest of Saturday and all day Sunday relaxing and visiting. We are staying in a nearby B&B called Maple Suites. A bit ironic, as we live in Goshen, the Maple City, and there are no maple trees here!