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Bangalore India: Various Pictures

It has now been a week since I was in Ooty and India continues to surprise and interest me. It is actually easy to escape most of the dramatically non American experiences when you work all day and only take a taxi from the hotel to work and then back at the end of the day. But, even with a daily routine of getting to work early and leaving after dark it is hard not to notice the uniquely Indian driving experience.

Manish was eager to show me a more genuine transportation experience this weekend by offering to take me to a bookstore as a passenger on his motorbike. The ride turned out to be much more relaxing than I expected, but, that may have been due to the light early evening traffic on Saturday.

Our top speed during the ride was 60 Kmph, or 37 MPH, but that was only for a short distance, most of the time our speed was closer to 40 Kmph or 25 MPH. As a passenger on Manish's motorbike it was easy to see why they are so popular in Bangalore. Due to their small size they easily weave their way through traffic and move to the head of the line at traffic lights. Manish also told me that it rains two months out of the year in Bangalore making a motorbike an even more practical primary mode of transportation. Kind of the opposite of Seattle.

Another interesting experience I had on Saturday was shopping near MG Road. There were so many little shops, most of which we did not go into, as well as many name brand stores as well as street vendors. We went to one multi story modern shopping center called Central. The thing that surprised me most about Central was that the power kept gong out and no one flinched. If the power went out in a mall in the USA I would expect most people to gasp, but, in Bangalore it seems to be normal.

(September 13, 14, 15, 16,17, and 18, 2004)

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One morning when I entered the lobby this man was making a special welcome sign of some VIPs arriving that day. Needless to say I did not get this kind of treatment when I arrived. Another picture of the main lobby. You can see the welcome sign just in front of the fountain. This is the balcony on the second floor of the Cypress building. It seems to be the preferred spot for enjoying a cup of tea and talking with coworkers. The view of the road from the balcony. Notice that the motorcycle is just in front of the car leaving Cypress, there is another car approaching from the right, and the car leaving Cypress is almost half way across the street.
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I see this billboard everyday on the way to work. I had to use Google to get more details. Check out How to Throw Your Own Foam Party. This is the hotels pool. The spa and a fountain which is outside the right end of this photo spill in to the main pool This is the right end of the hotel, when you are facing the entrance to the main lobby. The atrium by the book is where breakfast is served each morning. This is one of the streets that Manish took me to to do some shopping.
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Motorbikes everywhere. With all of the stuff I bought I needed more luggage for my flights home. Here is Manish in the Samsonite store. Manish wanted me to try a Custard Apple so he bought some at this produce stand. The turned out to be quite good. They taste just a little bit like a banana, but, realy have a taste all their own. They are the green fruit in front of the white bag. A fabric store where I purchased some silk fabric. The fabric that I bough is actually made right in Bangalore.
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I hadn't been in my hotel room in the middle of the day, so, it wasn't until today that I realized that I have a balcony. Here is the view out of the balcony. Not exactly the kind of view that would want to make me sit and enjoy a book or cup of tea. What I didn't take a picture of was the large air-conducting equipment to the right. Manish thought I should have the real Bangalore transportation experience, so, he offered to take me on a ride on his motor cycle. This is Manish's motorcycle. Like many people in Bangalore this is the only motorized transportation he owns. It seems the majority of motorcycles carry two people in Bangalore and I've see several scooters with 3 and 4 people on them!
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Manish took me to visit the Indian Institute of Science so that we could buy some technical books. We also walked around campus a little. This is the library building on campus. Manish's motorcycle ended up with a flat tire. It was being worked on right in the street. Just 5 feet to the left of the motor cycle cars, trucks, motorcycles, and horse drawn carts were going by. To the right just 6 feet or so is the repair shop. Manish and I in his apartment. Mukund birthday was on Saturday. He is another Cypress employee at INDC. So, I ended my exciting day of shopping and motorbike riding with a birthday party at Pizza Hut.
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More party guests.

Click on a thumbnail above to see a larger version of the picture.

The pictures in this gallery were taken with a Nikon D70 Digital SLR camera. Any use of these pictures without permission from the photographer is strictly prohibited. Email me to request permission to use any of these pictures or if you would like a higher resolution version.