Michael, Craig and I went for a very interesting walk this morning. First we have our big hotel full of wealthy foreigners. Next block over we find a fairly modern mall with stores like Guess and a cinema. Next block is where the locals live. Narrow little alleyways with a Hindu temple and a Muslim mosque within a short walk. Women wearing saris and others wearing the full muslim black dress, completely covered.
Craig was overwhelmed with the heat and quite a few flies in one area. At one point he came close to a stray dog so he stepped away from it , only to look up and come face to face with a cow which startled him.
There was a communal water pump in that area. A few people smile and say hello, but not many. Some young children did and occassionally if I said "Namaste" or Hello they would smile. I was wearing capri's and a black tshirt and felt a bit self conscious and definitely did not walk down the muslim area.
Hopefully we will go back there again but must do these things in small doses so that the kids can get used to it all. Also, even in the small alleys there are cars, motorbikes and rickshaws whipping around the corners so have to watch the kids all the time and keep them close by.
More contradictions this afternoon - met some people from Michael's work at a restaurant called Sunny's. Filled mostly with Indians but all types of excellent pastas, seafood, and delicious desserts. Good to talk to them about living in Bangalore, the highs and lows. Ultimately they agree the experience is worth it but trying at times. With the wealthy comes the poverty. With the beautiful scenery comes the garbage and smells...constant contradictions.