Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Indiana Towers and friend.........

Obama might have taken back the White House on Wednesday (Indian time) but friend C and I got a public bus all the way back from Commercial Street and we definitely felt very proud of our adventure. Maybe not on a par with Mr Obama's days achievements but even so!

It's hard to explain how getting a bus can possibly constitute an adventure! But for us ex-apts in India  such a burst of independence, to be out alone, without a driver a quick call away, definitely gives one a rush a freedom, excitement and an Indiana Jones sort of thrill.

C and I have caught buses before but only a few stops on routes we know well. This was on a different scale.

We accomplish our shopping, both intended and unintended (such are the attractions of Commercial Street), have our customary dosa and sweet lime soda and head off for the bus station, unchartered territory.

Purander gave us a careful briefing when he dropped us off. Well actually he gave C the briefing. She does speak a little Kannada and Purander seems to think she is therefore eminently capable and competent, which she is. However, I don't think he applies the same characteristics to me!

Our walk to Shivaji Nagar bus depot takes us through some interesting streets. Even during the time we have lived here Commercials has sprouted more brand stores and fast food outlets. The back streets definitely have more character and some missed photo opps.

Anyway we soon find the bus station which is hustling and bustling but not in an overwhelming sort of way. We actually spy a huge map which seems to imply that the bus we need to locate is 330. We are actually looking for a red volvo bus, the AC marginally more expensive and in Purander's view therefore safer and full of more wholesome types of folk. All goes remarkably to plan, a red, bus 330 comes into view:

And on we get!
The bus was really quiet - a few school kids dozing of to sleep after a hard day and a few ladies, like C and I, returning from shopping, only with a lot more shopping bags than we had! It was so good to feel relatively "normal" as opposed to "ex-pat with driver in a grey toyota innova", if only for a short while. Goes without saying we were the only white folks on the bus, so I guess we didn't really blend in at all! A real bus conductor, manually giving us our tickets for ......

.... a massive Rs15 each!! That's 30 cents (US) to take us a 30 minute bus ride. Less than the cost of parking at Commercial Street!!
I get off before C, at HAL police station bus stop, and walk the mile back home. It's a nice walk as most of it is up a "pedestrianized" road....... well anything that can squeeze thro' the gate can take advantage. Includes two wheelers and as are everywhere, our four legged friends:
Otherwise a very quiet promenade. For a street in Bangalore this was almost scary quiet! I strolled along little stretches when there was not a person to be seen - believe you me that is very unusual in Bangers!

So, I now get my thrills from catching buses - sounds a little sad, since at age 12, I was managing to get the public bus to and from school by myself, day in, day out, but that was in the confines of middle class suburban Sutton Coldfield. But it seriously this trip did feel like a real adventure and C and I are now planning our next trip on the wild-side in Bangers!

While in India I have taken an amazing number of different types of transport......elephants, camels, overnight bus, public bus, coracle, ferry boat, rowing boats, jeeps, scooters, planes, auto rick, pedal power ricks, train....but not yet the overnight train.....but the tickets are booked!!!!

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