India: A Preview of Things to Come
Bengaluru Travel Blog› entry 1 of 3 › view all entries
Arriving in India in the wee hours of the morning can destroy any myths of a â€śgod forsaken landâ€ť stories that are usually associated with past travel to this place. Clearly the dark night and low-lit areas of the streets masks what would be evidence of the â€śtoilet-bowl forgotâ€ť.
Bangalore International Airport was surprisingly pristine compared to many other airports I had been to in other third-world countries. I was expecting a rank smell to welcome me as I deplane, but instead I was welcomed with a helpful airport crew ďż˝ďż˝" which I later learned came with a price. I gave the guy Rs. 100 (price he asked for which was approximately $2 - an amount I was only too happy to give him) to get my luggage from the carousel and help me to the cab. The cab on the other hand was another story on its own. I got suckered into a privately-run cab that could end up costing me a small fortune. There was a mix-up with the hotel arrangement that my real driver could not find me. I soon learned that my hotel actually sent two drivers to get meâ€¦one inside the airport at baggage claim and one outside in case the one at baggage claim missed me. As fate would have it, I missed both. In any event, after about an hour of driving through Bangaloreâ€™s road infrastructure, I made it to my hotel safe and sound.
Speaking of road infrastructure, in these wee hours of the morning, the road is particularly clean - not only from trash, but cars. Impressive indeed since Bangalore traffic had not been receiving accolades from travel blogs and/or articles Iâ€™ve read in the past. Upon entry into Bangalore City however has started to prove things a little differently. Parked â€śtuk-tuksâ€ť and motorcycles started lining make shift sidewalks; huddled homeless people sleeping on the sidewalks, against trees and abandoned buildings started to be evident in the shadows; piles of rubble or possibly trash started appearing like little hills along the road; and the streets seem to get narrower and narrower. I havenâ€™t seen any cows that congest the traffic, but stray dogs seem to be everywhere.
As we travelled through Bangalore City in the dark, there was no evident smell to note. However, I did have a handkerchief in my pocket ready for any onslaught of such. It must be the cool summer-like breeze with a hint of humidity that lifted off any foul smell this late in the evening or should I say early in the morning, but every so often, a whiff of city sewage no different than any city in the world ever so effervesce in the air. I am sure it will be different when the blaring sun bakes it during the day. But in this cool night, it is much too easy to miss.
There is still much to be explored in this mystical country. I am sure I havenâ€™t even scratched the surface. After all, I had only been here a few hours. I am sure it will be much different in the daylight.
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