The Research and Planning
Whew, a lot of info to digest and organize into a plan...Fortunately in this age of the internet so much is quickly and conveniently available at the finger tips. I have been visiting the official and “un – official” websites looking for information, tips and suggestions. The travel blogs with firsthand accounts written by travelers themselves rather than government agencies or commercial interests are very enlightening and interesting.
The stories are funny at times and also seem a little harrowing. One writer advised that unless you have a death wish do not try to drive yourself, lol...another one said the electricity goes out often. Bangalore is a boom town, India’s burgeoning “Silicon Valley” and is growing very rapidly. Growing pains...reminds me of when I was growing up in the waves of baby boomer America and they couldn’t build houses, schools and roads fast enough. During the summer months where I grew up the electricity would often go out on very hot days when everyone was running their air conditioners and the electrical power capacity wasn’t built up enough yet. Even as recently as several years ago, California experienced this problem, with rolling black outs, as the population in this state continues to increase at a rapid pace.
Everyone seems to agree that you have to be very careful with the food and of course, the water. “They” advise only drinking from bottled water and make sure you or whoever is opening it breaks the seal in front of you. There are many places in the US where I wouldn’t drink from the tap either. India seems to be getting itself prepared for the bird flu. But if I see some chickens walking along the road, I will be the chicken crossing the street.
Found out where we are staying hotel wise and am relieved that I will have a very excellent resemblance of my everyday “American life” to retreat too. I don’t mind a little adventure but at this stage of life not as adventurous as I was 20 years ago. Still haven’t quite figured out the reality of it all between the official versions and the unofficial stories. I guess it will be somewhere in between. I am admittedly not an “adventure” traveler. I am used to traveling in very westernized, upscale environments. I do enjoy camping at the beautiful places in California, the western US and Australia but then again that is not really roughing it either in comparison to what some people do.
Not that India does not have its “affluent” areas...it does, but there is also a much larger scale of poverty there than most Westerners are accustomed to. “Culture Shock” is a term often used in these travel journals I am reading. And even the official Indian government travel website mentions that the very punctual visitor needs to be prepared for what the Indians jokingly call IST – Indian Stretchable Time. Everything takes longer in India. Sounds kind of like “Hawaiian Time”.
Bangalore is located in the southern part of India in the Indian state of Karnataka. It is 3,113 feet above sea level on top of a ridge in the Kamataka plateau. It has a moderate climate. The city is a good base for exploring southern India; temples, ruins, historic architecture, natural beauty and beautiful beaches on the coast of the Indian Ocean. Bangalore is also a cosmopolitan city which offers extensive shopping, cuisine, luxury hotels, culture and entertainment. Known also as the “Garden City” for its many gardens and parks, Bangalore is more recently nicknamed the “Pub City”, as it has many, many Pubs. The city is a fusion of the old and new India.