Saturday, January 12, 2013

Bike, buses and metro.....all in one day!!!

Simon has the car all day and I want to go out. In fact, specifically I want to get to friend Connie's house which is 2 buses away or a good twenty minutes by car (not an option today) or only 15 minutes by bike as on 2-wheels I can take pathways inaccessible to four wheelers. I toss my biking plan out in front of Purander, who seems to think if I don't get lost or fall off I may arrive at my destination in one piece. O yea of little faith in my abilities!

Connie's complex is tantalizingly close, almost visible to the naked eye from Vista, just the other side of Doddanekundi lake. Lake is a little optimistic a name - I'm sure it once was a place of blue waters and quite beautiful, but is now sadly a sign of the times...polluted, full of weeds and mosquitos but still impassable and huge. There are plans a foot to rescue the 'lake' so maybe one day it will return to its former glories, hopefully for both the aesthetics but also our environment and the water levels in Bangers and India as a whole. Anyway, as the crow flies all that separates me and Connie is the lake but by road we have to go a long way south to pass the lake before returning north up the other side of the lake. By bike the journey is at least halved.

So with google maps all set on my phone, my bike wheels pumped, helmet on (puts me firmly in the minority of cyclists here), I set off. There was not a lot of traffic and I felt quite safe. At least half of my ride is on "no car" little roads which were very quiet. Even cycling up through Connie's village where they was a bit more action I felt quite confident, there are so many two wheelers. Soon I am turning into Connie's security gate - a much easier less eventful experience than I had imagined!

Once I had been refreshed with a glass of cold water and basked in the glory of my successful venture it was time to hit the buses. Aim to get the metro.....which has been open in Bangers for over a year but has not been hugely successful. The metro stops are slightly off the road and the buses are so good and the non a/c exceptionally cheap so a lot of folks have not changed their morning commute to factor in the bright shiny metro. The metro route is currently only 6 stops so maybe once it is at full strength or length it will attract more custom.

Connie is a real bus guru so I just follow along. We jump on the first bus which is our most expensive transport of the morning at 20 rupees each (less than 50 cents). I have no real idea where we are going but have full faith in my guide. It's by now mid morning and the buses are relatively quiet. Second bus is also easily negotiated. Hardest part of the morning is crossing the street to the metro!

Entering the metro station is like entering another world. It s hard to explain but India is so noisy, dusty, action packed.........the metro station is a little's new, it's clean, its shiny, its enetering a vacuum where the sound, smells and sights have been sucked out. Its seriously eerily empty. It feels really weird -  like going into the City of London on a Sunday - or going to a shopping mall in the middle of the night, or a party on the wrong day. But this is a week day, it is India but there are no people....really odd!!!

Really we could almost be in any metro in the world. Its almost too bland.

 Little signs do give our geographical position away.......the lady with baby and the pregnant lady wearing sari's..on the please give your seat to....sign.

 We took the metro all 5 or 6 stops to MG Road where we did a spot of shopping. In Blossoms, the best second hand book stall we were relatively restrained. Then we stopped at a european food hall where Connie indulged in some rather pricey After Eights and me some other foreign delicacies. We grabbed some lunch in a little Indian Hotel - yummy yummy chats before returning on the metro. As we felt we had taken sufficient public transport (and of course my bike ride) to quell our need for adventure for one day we returned to our expat side of life and Connie's driver picked us up from the metro. Which means of course my bike is still chez Connie so will work out how to reclaim it another day!!

1 comment:

  1. I wanted to comment on this post, to compare it with what I was doing in the UK that week, but I couldn't make my Wordpress ID work on your blog. Now I'm using my Google ID instead, so watch out for a whole bunch of comments!