So, I’m back in Bangalore, back on Brigade Road, back in Nilgiri’s Nest. It almost felt like coming home. Traffic from the train station was really bad, and autos can’t drive down this section of the road, so the driver dropped me at the corner of MG Road and Brigade Road, and I had to walk the few short blocks to Nilgiri’s. So I’ve got my big hiking backpack on my back, and a smaller (but still quite big) laptop backpack on my front. Basically, I’m carrying probably half my body weight. This guy tries to stop me and asks me to buy a toy helicopter, which he is dutifully demonstrating. Excuse me, but do I look like I want to stop and buy something??
Having dropped my bags in the room, I went down into the bustling street to get cash and top-up my cell phone. Nilgiri’s is best known to people as a grocery store and restaurant, and on the way back to my room I stopped by the ready-made food counter. I’m at the point in the trip where some western food sounded good, so I got an egg and cheese sandwich (with a little spice – it is India, after all!), a sweet lassi, and a brownie. For those of you paying attention, this was the best chocolate I’ve had in India! A yummy dinner in my hotel room, with MTV India on the tv to drown out the honking from the street below.
Moving backwards in my day, I took the train back from Mysore, with a 2nd class reserved seat. This was my first time on the train in India, and it was fine, kind of like the local trains in Europe. I had a single seat near the window which you can open fully, and luckily the seat across from me was not reserved, so I had a place to put my bag. Throughout the trip, vendors went up and down the aisles selling tea, coffee, and tindi (snacks). Krishnaveni had loaded me down with snacks so I was fine. One guy stopped next to me to make snacks for the people across the aisle, and he gave me some to taste. I don’t know what it was called, but it had puffed rice, grated carrots, some oil and a white sauce (yogurt?) and spices – it was quite good. I read the whole way – García Márquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude, which I’m going to try and finish tonight so I can leave it here. Just can’t carry one more thing! The scenery was really nice – lots of rice fields, and some rock formations. The ride was nice and smooth compared to the bus, too. It was more expensive than the bus (Rs 121 vs. Rs 72), but still, door-to-(almost)-door with autos and the train, I spent only $6. No one came around to collect tickets – hmmm.
Had my last class with Krishnaveni today – can’t believe I learned all three pieces! Of course they are far from perfect, and I’ll need to do a lot of work on them, but I actually got all the way through the 20 minute piece, including the last (and most difficult) section, without significant problems today. I was very proud, and she was happy, too.
According to MTV India, “Silkky Kumar is your love monkey.” He’s their “buzz worthy artist of the month.” Thought you’d like to know.