|I was headed down to the city of Bangalore on a short side trip to visit the Allegis Group India corporate office. This was something I did not expect to be doing while here in India but I for sure wasn't going to pass up the opportunity to go.
I loved the people there at the office and everyone was so nice. I didn't take too many pics but just to prove this to everyone from my work at home who knows me too well and thinks I am making this whole thing up, here are the pics.
Over the weekend I was able to go out and explore the city with Micha. He was German but living in Zurich, Switzerland and staying at the same hotel as me. He was working for Accenture as a contractor on an assignment for a Swiss banking company. He had a driver dedicated to him for his entire month stay there so Micha had him drive us over to the zoo.
We went on a safari at the zoo to see all the crazy animals that are at every other zoo that you can go to. So here are some of the animals we saw while on the safari. It was actually pretty cool though because it felt like we were pretty close to the tigers and bears. They could pretty much walk right up to bus in fact the bears actually laid under the tires for a little bit....almost to say "run me over and kill me to end my terrible life here in this zoo."
The driver and the tour guide on the bus in the zoo catered to Micah and I because we were white. They made sure we sat in the front of the bus and would use our cameras to try and get really good pics of the animals and of us in the bus. The pics turned out ok but the best part was when the safari ended. The driver and guide let everyone off the bus and then cornered Micah and I to get a tip. We gave them what we felt was reasonable and they tried to get more out of us saying "we give you good seat on bus and take good pics of you" "you give us more tip". We politely declined and escaped the bus with our lives.
At one point we wandered into the butterfly santuary section of the zoo. There was this one building that had all the butterflies just flying around in it. While in there I started talking to this Indian family and the Mom really wanted to have a picture of Micha and I with her kids. So I got one taken as well.
The area with the elephants was pretty cool too. There seemed to be two elephants fighting for some reason. Probably forced against their will to amuse all the visitors to the zoo. Either way we took pictures!
At one point we walked up to the edge of the wall and the zoo keepers brought an elephant over to me and had hime give out a scream. I am not sure if he was hurting the elephant to cause this sound or just knew exactly where to touch him. Either way when the scream was done the guy looked at me and said "tip?'" Here is a link to the video of the screaming elephant www.youtube.com/user/mwesp1
Micha and I also visited one of the famous gardens of Bangalore.This one was called 'Lalbagh' Bangalore is known as the 'garden city' of India because when it was settled it was really green but now it is not because of all the industrialization. Either way the gated gardens are still really cool to hang out in as a family or whatever on a weekend. There are tons of parks and plants/trees to look at. They also have sectioned off areas specific to a theme. The one I really enjoyed was the bonsai section. This is the gate to that section. I have pics of all the trees but didn't want to bore you with those but the gate looked pretty cool. The garden we went to had this huge rock in the middle of it. It was more of a hill, just made out of solid rock.
After the zoo and the garden Micha's driver took us over to the built up westernized area of the city with all the shops for all the really expensive european designers. We walked around a bit looking for a place to eat and some bars to go to. While out on the streets we would be stopped by people all the time. They just wanted to talk to us because we were white. They would ask us where were we from and if we liked Bangalore. They all wanted to have their picture taken with us. It was like we were celebrities. I of course love attention and would really play up these experiences and pictures. I would take off my sunglasses and make them wear them or take their hat and put it on me. I would usually smile really big or point at the camera or the person in the pic. I loved it. They would litteraly stop all the people on the sidewalks and not let them cross until all the pics had been taken with each of their cell phones. They were really appreciative and so nice. We found this place to eat called Adigas. It is a fast food restaurant there in that city. You walked in, ordered and then took your receipt over to the counter, handed in your ticket and they gave you your food. I can't remember what I ordered but here is a pic of it and me eating.
Micha and I went to a outside bar on the 13th floor of some building and had some drinks on my last night there.
The weird part about Bangalore is the bars close at 11pm so when we got kicked out I felt unsure and confused about what to do because I wasn't really drunk and fiending for a kebab or pizza or denny's. We decided just to take a auto rickshaw back to the hotel.
That was fun. It was my first ride in one and I asked if I could drive but the guy said no.