Saturday, September 06, 2008

Touring Bangalore

"Friendship is like peeing on yourself: everyone can see it, but only you get the warm feeling that it brings."


Yes, I'm back in Malacca and yes, it's for good this time. I meant to update but my sudden urge to go KL yesterday put that on hold till now. I bought a good load of books (though it’s only half of what I usually haul back – petrol prices, inflation and all that, y’know). I’d like to get right onto updating about the best of the two weeks I’ve been absent from my journal here but first, a bit of a primer; Bangalore.

Bangalore was the first stop Phoebs and I made from Salem. We’ve both been there before but never together. It’s sort of like a touchdown city for us students of Melaka Manipal Medical College (in Manipal, me) and Penang International Dental College (in Salem, Phoebs) and in my opinion, Bangalore is the best big city to shop in India. It’s not quite Singapore (or even KL for that matter) but when you’ve lived in India as long as I have, it’s fucking New York.

Also, the only reason we were even making a stop in Bangalore was that Phoebs would kill me if we didn’t. She’s not going to be dragged halfway across the backwater south of the subcontinent without getting a bit of proper shopping done. Never get between a woman and her malls, I always say.

One of the best places to start in Bangalore is the ever-happening Brigade Road,
When you see the red Levi’s cube-shaped store, you’re there.

Phoebs boning up on the essentials in a bookstore off Brigade Road. It just shows how unenlightened Malaysians are – we don’t have an erotica section in our bookstores. Like WTF, right?

Brigade Road is a tributary of the ubiquitous M.G. Road (every city worth its salt in India has one – they love Mahatma Gandhi A LOT) which, by itself, is a pretty darn awesome place to shop too.

And nearby within a very walkable distance away, you have the Garuda Mall,

Why it was named after a mythical Hindu super-bird, I have no idea.

I spotted this adorable little kid in one of the ladies’ store there toting the cutest little handbag, trying to emulate her trophy wife Mom, who was standing nearby doing very important mommy things like buying overpriced shoes.

Those are Phoebe’s legs behind her, by the way.

She’s her Mom’s daughter alright.

Midway through the day, we took an auto rickshaw to Forum, a place a lot more of my speed (by the sole virtue of having a kickass bookstore in it),

Look’s like a pretty neat place, by any standard.

The Landmark outlet inside is more like a tiny mall within a bigger mall than a bookshop, but I am always pretty impressed with their selection of books. I actually managed to get two books which I had on my list for awhile now; The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss and The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch – both I’ve read over the hols. They are surprisingly good and a review will be forthcoming soon from me, I promise.

Later that night, we had dinner at a place called Sunny’s which is so posh that I actually went to get a haircut and bought a nice shirt before I dared to even set foot into the establishment,

Ack, I can’t breathe. There’s too much atmosphere in here.

And how do I know they are posh? They give out appetizers for free!

Phoebs somehow managed to completely use up the entire bowl of garlic butter (mmm, garlic butter…) on just those two tiny buns. And when we were done, they brought a whole new basket! Whee!

Theoretically, you can just order a glass of mineral water (not plain ol’ water ‘cause that’s free too) and just sit there, eating your fill everyday. It’s a great place for travelers on a serious budget. They even have a massive projector screen hanging over the dining room with the sport’s channel on, showing the latest Beijing 2008 Olympics highlights so you can entertain yourself while sitting on your cheap ass mooching.

But if you do that, you’d miss out on their great pasta,

Phoeb’s fettucine. I don’t remember what they call it but it has seafood in it.

My lamb lasagna looks like dysentery in a bowl, but was actually quite good. Really.

And it’s heartwarming that they are actually taking 10 rupees from all their ridiculously rich expat and Indian elite patrons to help what looks like a dog-shaped rat and monkey failing at cuteness,

I wonder if anyone ever objected to the donation. The waiter will probably shout from your table to the counter, "This guy’s not donating. Strike the measly 10 rupees off the bill!"

And just look at their bar,

Temptation is pretty.

Phoebs and I were suppose to leave Bangalore that night for Mysore, so as you can imagine, it’s a bit of a rush trying to get to our hotel after dinner, pack and rush our heads off to the bus station which, for all practical purposes, appears to be located right on the other side of town. And it certainly didn’t help matters that the street outside of Sunny’s was turned into a river by a freak rainstorm. The city council seriously needs to do something about the drainage system there.

It was a bit of a nightmare too really, trying to walk around the massive bus station in the rain trying to locate a bus to Mysore at midnight under a relentless torrent of falling water. Plus, we didn’t have an umbrella either. Phoeb’s had my sweater over her head and backpack, so she was spared the worst of it but I – I was drenched.

Later, sitting in a bus, I had my shoes and socks removed, and stowed them under my seat (thankfully, I hadn’t trudge in them long enough for them to start smelling). I was still pretty wet then and cold, sitting in a cramped seat on the verge of a 3 hour long bus journey in the middle of the night. I should have been feeling pretty miserable but I was a lot more worried about Phoebs, who has never traveled this way before. Phoebs, however, was taking everything amazingly well. I never suspected that she was such a trooper. She doesn’t complain or whine – she knows what’s necessary and she does them. This is marriage material, people.

I hoped to change into a drier shirt once the bus started moving and the passengers started nodding off. In fact, I even began to feel a little cheerful, knowing that the worst was over. That’s me, Mr. Brightside. I told Phoeb’s that much; "Well, we’re on our way now. It can’t get any worse."

And like a bad sitcom, a fight broke out in the back of the bus. A woman was screaming and pulling another woman’s hair and occasionally, slapping a man sitting beside her. Maybe her husband was going on vacation with another woman behind her back or something but people started getting off the bus to catch another one which was just leaving for Mysore as well. Phoebs and I stayed put though, and waited for the fight to stop and our bus to start moving as well. I don’t fancy putting on my dripping wet shoes and socks again, un-wedge our backpacks from the overhead compartment, and venture out in the rain again to look for another bus.

Of course, as luck would have it, the bus wouldn’t move with so few passengers, so yeah – I had to do all that after all.

Luckily, the second time around, we got away without any further hitches. Next stop; the royal city of Mysore. Things went totally uphill from that point onwards. More later, bye for now. I'm real busy these days doing absolutely nothing.

k0k s3n w4i


fubi said...

i 4got if i complained or not *scratches head* o.O u stopped so abruptly at d end of d post T^T

lingghezhi said...

*stares at erotica section*

hmm... :)

MichelleG said...

lol. here they have like 10 shops along the same street selling those porno stuff and lingeries

but i've never been into one. =P

.: Ya Hui :. said...

ooooooooi what's with the 'overpriced shoe' comment huh? discrimination of females, i say! lulz~

so how long you'll be back here bro?! :)

ven said...

Mysore just sounds like a product for athlete foot or foot ulcers. It's just me I supposed.

Btw, I was in KL yesterday too!

k0k s3n w4i said...

fubi: dinnertime leapt out at me suddenly. can't... write... without... sustenance!!!

lingghezhi: i seems to be consist of nothing but massive, colourfully illustrated copies of the kama sutra.

michelleg: why not?! live a little! anyway, y buy porno when u can d/l them from free of the internet?

ya hui: it's not discrimination when i say black people have dark skins xD i did say at the start of the post that i'm back for good, you know :P

ven: you're alive!!! i haven't dropped by your blog for a long time now (mainly because you don't update it *shakes fists*). I suppose i didn't run into u in kl cos i spent the whole time practically holed up in some bookstore xD

MichelleG said...

haha not buy of course. also to check out their other "paraphernalia" =P