Sunday, September 23, 2007

18 September 2007: Last Day in India

So here I am. Saying goodbye to India from the small, ugly Bangalore international terminal, already thinking of a research trip I could make next summer.

It’s funny to compare my impressions of Bangalore from 5 weeks ago versus today. I really disliked Bangalore when I arrived, especially the air and noise pollution. I thought, “This is the ‘Pensioner’s Paradise?” I was getting taken advantage of (especially by auto drivers) and knew it. But today I was very excited because every time I got into an auto, the driver automatically put on the meter, whereas not once before did they do that, even when I insisted. Maybe I seemed more sure of myself, seemed less like a tourist, or something. I considered it a victory! Last night, as I got off the plane from Chennai and was greeted by the lovely 21 C air, I finally understood why Bangalore is said to have a good climate, especially having just traveled from one hot and steamy location to another. Coming back to Nilgiri’s Nest was almost like coming home, with much of the staff recognizing me. Of course it is absolutely Spartan compared to the 4 star hotels I’ve been staying in the past 10 days, but in many ways it’s what I’m more comfortable with. Before I just couldn’t imagine ever living in Bangalore, but now I could. I guess in retrospect, it would have been better to go directly to Mysore first so I could ease myself into my India experience in a smaller city with people I knew around me. But hindsight is 20-20, la la la.

I am definitely very excited to be going home. I’m also excited to spend a few days in KL with my dance friends from Malaysia!

As of this moment, I don’t have any brilliant final words to record in my last hour in India. Perhaps some will come to me. Until then…

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