initial india

I ate lunch in the cafeteria here in Bangalore today. Others from Denver had warned me about it from a gastronomic concern point of view. So, of course, I had to try it. It was good, nice spices in the food. The guys here say many from US think it is too spicy, but really, it wasn’t all that spicy. . . I had dosas (kind of like a rice flour pancake with seasonings) with a chutney, soup, spiced beets, some spicy dal like thing, and so on.

Another important finding: the coffee at the hotel this morning was kind of unusual, but very good. Must be some varietal I’ve never had. They also have a nice Gaggia espresso machine, but I haven’t had one yet. (I know, I know, shock-inducing, jaw-dropping information). The thing is, there hasn’t been a person at the machine, and, well the portafilter isn’t in it, which means it is not at the right temp, so unless I tell them how to use their machine, or get permission to do so myself, the espresso will probably be very bitter. The coffee at work, now… well, it is coffee powder, add hot water or hot milk. I’ll leave it at that.

The internet connectivity is very good at the office, and the hotel has an “Executive Club”, which means a couple internet PCs I could blog from. I “belong” to this club because I’m in an outrageously expensive room by Indian standards. This “club” also entitles me to a free breakfast buffet, which includes a variety of Indian dishes, ceral, pastery, pancakes, fruit (fresh figs, papaya, mango etc), and smoked fish and lamb roulade. (Hey Jeb, that there’s French for rolled lamb meat).

So, just how outrageous is the room rate? Well, suffice it to say that the nightly rate is almost more than the average annual salary of someone who lives in rural Karnataka, the state Bangalore is located in — or about $230 per night.

I went walking about Bangalore my first day here, trying to get the blood back in my leg muscles after 20 hours on planes and then sleeping. I was out a couple of hours. The few roadside shops in my area are about 10′x13′ and sell a few items. I bought a 600ml Kingfisher lager (local) for 50 Rupees — about a buck, and a 600ml Pepsi for 15 Rupees — about a 34 cents. When I stop at them, it was all ‘sir’ this and that, it was odd to see the atmosphere change visibly when I stopped somewhere. The walk was mostly nice, although I saw a person or two urinating on walls near the streets. The buildings all look a little run down on the street I walked down.

Anyway, I’m still trying to pick up a vibe for the place. I forgot to bring my USB cable to the office, or I’d upload a pic or two. Perhaps later. Bye for now.

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