Bangalore day 29

After a really short nights sleep I was up and ready for the taxi at 2am.

On arriving at the airport I was faced with the dilemma of what could happen if I didnt’ have a seat on the plane. Of course this all came after my freaking out about my online check-in not going through the day before.

At the check-in the guy beside me was arguing because despite having paid the travel agents his booking was still unconfirmed and because the plane was overbooked he had no seat. So not good to hear this.

However when it came to my turn I was also told the plane was overbooked and instead of being in world traveller I got a nice free upgrade (worth about £500) to business class!

It was a nice leisurely trip home. Nice little bit and even a menu to choose what meals I wanted. It was so much nicer than economy class and fine for those who could afford it.

My  menu was.

Breakfast

Starters

Chilled fruit juice (of your choice)

An energising fruit smoothie

Fresh seasonal fruit or dry fruit muesli with natural yogurt.

A selection of hot breads and pastries

Main

Full English breakfast

Cheese and leak omelette with potato wedges, mushrooms and baked beans in a tomato.

Lunch

Salmon and asparagus with chicken tikka julienne wrapped in courgette

or cream cheese in cucumber with melon balls, asparagus with vegetable skewer on plus and apple salsa with idl chaat and red cabbage

(NOTE TO SELF – whatever I was given was not recognisable as  neither of these)

Fresh salad

Main

Lamb stew with garlic mash and buttered broccoli

or

Garlic crusted tiger prawns with lemon herb sauce, bok-choy and vegetable batons served with parsley saffron and chilli potatoes

or

Chilled main course salad with ham

Desert

Mango and passion fruit with stawberry coulis

or

a selection of fruit

or

a selection of cheese.

Arriving in Heathrow I was greeted with the usual rip-off prices and it took some adjusting to the fact that my lunch cost more than it would cost for a group of us to eat in Bangalore.

Time went by and before I knew it it was time to get on the last plane and make my way home. I was greeted by smiling parents and enjoyed an amazing hot shower and some soup before settling down for the night in a nice big double bed with lots of pillows and NO ANTS!

It was good to be home.

Bangalore Day 28

Saturday 29 August

An early start as I was woken up by Mary who was having phone difficulties. Thankfully the whole take the battery out and put in again trick worked because it was years since I had worked an old nokia.

Then we went to ooti chocolates where we stocked up on some fine yet inexpensive chocolates to bring home. After that we went to shanti sweets. Although I am not a major fan of them to eat I decided it could be good to bring some home to illustrate the reason behind my lack of sugar intake for the month. Strangely enough I was given a box twice the size of the previous week. My only fear is that it may bring my weight allowance over the limit.

That night I had my last dinner at Katary and for once it was hot. I also got my favourite desert spaghetti rice pudding for desert (which I later found out is actually made with rice noodles)

That night I was kept up my Ganesh yet again. This time he passed right by the house which meant there was a series of firework explosions that shook the house which was pretty scary given that I was there alone.

Eventually I got to sleep and awoke to an early start.

Bangalore day 27

Friday 28 August

Today we had an early start to go to see some tiggers. Ann and her husband had returned from their trip to Hampi so we went on a safari for the day. It was the first time I rode a real public bus an experience which although not as unpleasant as we had thought was an experience we would not repeat.

At the park we got to see some lions and tigers and bears (oh my!). There were so many bears and we got a great view of the tigers too but we were disappointed by there only being two lions which were not clearly visible from the track.

That night we went to high note again where I was embarrassingly recognised as a regular. Then home to pack which is when I first realised I could leech into a neighbours broadband. If only I had found out sooner in the month.monkey at the zoo

Bangalore day 26

Thursday 27 August

My last day in MiD-DAY and how happy I was that it was. The new editor reprimanded me for going to the co-ordinator because I was not being given work to do. This was my first encounter with him so how was I supposed to get work.
He gave me an article which I couldn’t physically do as it was at 6pm that evening and we had a final meeting with the co-ordinator. Instead I decided to hide out in commercial street and later on we had dinner before heading to ashas house. On the way we got really lost but a nice lady invited us into her place where she phoned for directions. Of course arriving at Asha’s we were asked how could we have possibly gotten lost. Everyone always does. Its not very easy to remember a house we first visited nearly one month previous especially since we were tired from the flight we were driven there and it was in the daylight instead of at night.

The night at Ashas went well and then we headed home.

Myself, Asha and Kelly

Myself, Asha and Kelly

Bangalore day 25

Wednesday 26 August

Today yet another fruitful day at MiD-DAY. I ended up leaving early and we went to try and get an open bus tour of the city. According to our lonely planet they do exist but finding the address we were informed the company stopped operating in 2007. Instead we headed to the Big Bazaar. This centre was pretty impressive. I had wondered how the locals stocked up on

basics such as socks and where they bought electronics. This store had everything from a supermarket on the ground floor to a ladies clothing department, an electronics floor, a mens clothing department and a household floor. The prices were far lower than any Irish prices and nearly make Penneys seem like Brown Thomas.

After this we went to High Note on 100ft road for dinner. Not having eaten for more than 8 hours we wowed the waiters by our ability to polish off three courses which included sharing starters which we had each instead of shared.

Full up and satisfied it was time for an early night.

lucy enjoying cow

lucy enjoying cow

Bangalore day 24

Tuesday 25 August

Today was yet another boring day at MiD-DAY. In the afternoon I did get a story to find some billionaires daughter on facebook. They said I she went to Stanford university and I should try and find one of her friends or see if any of my friends knew someone that knew her. Why I would know anyone from Stanford to begin with doesn’t make sense and it would help if this girl was even on facebook.

Obviously the story didn’t get done.

That night we went to see the ganesh again. This night they were taking him away so we were offered some food and drink from the locals who did all they could possibly do to involve us. It was a nice gesture but annoying when they couldn’t understand that we did not want to drink beer from the boot of a guys car.

ganesh

ganesh

Bangalore day 23

Monday 24 August

Another boring day in MiD-DAY the editor from week 1 quit, her replacement from weeks 2 and 3 aslo quit so now got no one. I sat bored in the office with nothing to do for 7 hours before leaving early.

That night the others got henna on their hands and feet and we went to see ganesh again.

Bangalore day 22

Sunday 23rd August
Today was the last day for  many of the volunteers so we just took it easy in the morning before going for breakfast.  In the afternoon we swapepd photographx.
Later that night we went to visit ganesh for the ganesh festival.

Bangalore day 21

Saturday 22nd August

Still feeling sick from the lunch the day before I slept in until 9.30am the longest I have been allowed stay in bed and the first time I have skipped katary breakfast since arriving. Later that day we went to commercial street where I picked up my dresses from the tailor and miraculously they fit this time. Then we went to a gem gift store where we spent at least two hours looking. I was given two full boxes of earings to look at and the guy changed each pair to suit the style I want. Eventually I got six pairs for under 20euro which for real silver with gems (pearl, onyx, topaz etc) was really good.

Before going in there Lydia had bought some stuff in a store across the way. After the gem store we were chased by the guy in the shopped who apologised after realising he had charged 100rupees too much and wanted to give it back. That certainly wouldn’t happen at home.

Lunch that day was noodles which were one of the best things I have eaten since getting here.

At dinner we went to high note where for the first time we were given the option of fish, chips, pasta and lots of other continental food we had all been craving.

After all settling into some chips and other variations we went home very happy before falling asleep watching sleepy hollow on hbo

Bangalore day 20

Friday 21st August.

Today we sneaked down for breakfast fearful of what Mrs Katary would say about our hampi disaster.

She completed ignored it and we ended up telling her. Surprisingly she didn’t get angry.

That day I spent the day with Daniel. We went to MG road to the book store where we bought some really cheap notebooks then to cavery gift shop but they didn’t have anything good. Then I convinced him to go to hard rock so I could get some pins. Arriving there I was surprised at the cost the pins cost more than at home and averaged at 1000rupees each way. They definitely were not Indian prices and I would be surprised if many Indian people could afford them.

After that we went for lunch at a place recommended by Mrs Katary. Unlike most buffets there was no vegetarian option so we both reluctantly ate the meat. A big mistake my stomach would later regret. Luckily I was around but Daniel flew home that night so he may not have been as fortunate.

That night we ate at chowka. It is about 2 min from our house and we decided to try it. It was quite a strange experience. You are given about 10 metal bowls with sauces and naan bread etc as soon as you finish a bowl they top it up. All you can eat for the equivalent of 1.50euro.

After we planned to go for  drink but it was dry day (no alcohol served because of election) so we had to stick to mocktails.