23-24th June, Bangalore
Normally wouldn’t blog about one night back in Bangalore, but thanks to the Ratnam family we had an amazing 2 days/1 night back in Bangalore!We arrived back in Bangalore on the evening of the 23rd (from Mysore), and had instructions on how to make our way over to the Ratnam’s home. We got there easily enough and got to check out the local supermarket which was magic, it had everything from imported goods, a bottle store and bakery. The key purchase for Jono and I was a container of peanut butter…after 3 months of being on the road getting a home comfort like this was magic. We hadn’t buttered our own toast in three months and so after purchasing would wake up every morning cracking on about how good the peanut butter was going to be that morning…small things huh!
We checked into the upstairs apartment at the Ratnams, a great setup with two bedrooms a full kitchen and laundry – some serious home comforts for both of us! We were invited downstairs for dinner that evening and were treated to a feast, including freshly made chapatti of which I polished off quite easily. The food was amazing and left us feeling pretty happy with ourselves and extremely grateful to the Ratnams.
Waterworks…well things were going quite smoothly until we arrived back upstairs, I heard Jono exclaim “sh*t” ahead of me, just as I stepped onto the floor and into a big puddle of water. Turns out that while we were downstairs, the water pipe to the water purifier had popped off and started streaming water into the kitchen, lounge and Jono’s room. The result was a marble floor (luckily not carpet) covered in about 1cm of water! So we quickly got to work with Chris (Nihars father), Anjali (Nihar’s sister) and Lilly (their helper) pushing water toward the drain hole in the kitchen and using a mop to soak up water and hand squeezing it into a bucket. We were a pretty efficient operation and within an hour the place was looking as good as new – the floor may have even looked cleaner after it’s massive dowsing of water and mops! Jono and I felt like absolute idiots, but we all laughed about it and saw the lighter side of the mini-disaster!
The next morning we were treated to a true Indian breakfast downstairs, being served up Vada (Indian style savoury donuts) with chutney (kind of like an NZ hummus) and samber (curry dipping sauce) and Idli (rice cakes) – it was fantastic food and of course Chris and Rosemary made sure that we were completely full and satisfied – perfect hosts! Then it was off into town to check out Commercial St, buy a new Indian sim card (with the help from Chris) and to exchange a bit of money. On the way into town we got a brief tour and history of the area that the Ratnam’s live, checking out the local schools, churches and lakes. Even stopping at one of the schools and taking a couple of pics of some local schoolkids who were dead keen to pose for photos – pretty funny stuff.
Back home and we were looked after again for lunch, another amazing meal this time with even more chapatti (and yes we did make our way through all of them), and an array of curries – again completely stuffed full and revelling in the taste that is Indian food! That evening we all went out for dinner at the Catholic Club in Bangalore, we were kindly invited as Chris and Rosemary’s guests. It was an awesome relaxing evening with Anjali ordering up a whole range of Indian snacks and then breads and curries – of course washed down with a few handles of Kingfisher! Had a great chat about all sorts of things, Rosemary gave us a hard time about why we were not yet married – quite a funny conversation really! We also learnt quite a bit about Indian culture and the way of life here which was really interesting to hear – a lot more insight than the guidebooks can provide us!
After an icecream sundae at a popular local ice-cream parlour (where you drove in and could order and eat your ice cream in the car) – a place where Dhoni goes to have ice cream when he is in Bangalore….We were kindly dropped off at the bus station to catch our overnight bus to Hampi.
So a huge thanks to Rosemary, Chris Anjali and Nihar for all making our time in Bangalore absolutely perfect and for the fantastic hospitality the showed us. Without a doubt when you make it back to NZ, and we’re back living there, we will put on a huge banquet of NZ food up at Taupo!