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Bustling Bangalore

Suits, Shopping & S.C. Road

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The bus from Hospet to Bangalore took about 9 hours. We arrived in rush hour and were given a good introduction to Bangalore traffic, although it is pretty bad most of the time. We found a hotel near the Kempegowda Bus Station,
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it had the word Paradise in the name but as one gentleman put it 'more like hell when you get inside.' I wouldn't really go that far, the room was a bit stuffy and you had to sit sideways on the toilet but I can definitely say we've seen worse.

Our hotel was down a little side street just off the S.C. Road which throbs with people going about their various businesses. For a number of reasons, which I will explain, we ended up staying in Bangalore for a week, longer than we've stayed anywhere else, and I don't know how many times we walked up and down that road but it was a lot!
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The first day we headed over to Cubbon Park and on the way stopped off outside the two government buildings in Bangalore; one old, one new. They were really quite impressive, and the tuk tuk driver who took us there seemed especially proud of them.
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At the entrance to Cubbon Park there is a statue of Queen Victoria looking fairly austere, it's a little strange to find something which so represents England in the middle of a foreign country. It is hard to believe that our influence here was ever strong.
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After a bit of a tour around Cubbon Park which turned out to be more for children than us grown-ups (although there was a little train I wouldn't have minded a go on), we headed down M.G. Road (Mahatma Ghandi Road – which seems to be a feature of every town in India) and stumbled across the more uptown end of Bangalore. This area is the most modern we have seen on our trip so far, a number of brands such as Levi, United Colours of Benneton and Reebok have shops on the first street we encountered. I indulged and bought a couple of tops but consoled myself with how much more they would have been at home and the thought of having clean clothes was just too alluring. Finding places to wash our clothes has been a little trickier than we anticipated.

There was also a cinema on this road and so we gave in to our love for film and settled down to watch The International. Unfortunately, apart from a few good scenes it was distinctly average but the cinema itself was quite cool. It was fairly old but in good condition and the actual cinema theatre was massive, the biggest one I have ever been in.

After the cinema we headed over to the train station to book our ticket to Kochi which is a coastal town in the state of Kerela. It turned out that the next train we could get was in 3 days time, which meant that Adam could look into getting a suit made, something which he'd had in mind since before we came away. We managed to find an area which was comprised of both shops selling fabrics and the tailors to create the garments. After a bit of asking around we found Universal Tailors and a lovely man who told us that if we bought the fabric he would make Adam a suit before we left in 3 days time. Our next mission was to find an image of the perfect suit, so we went to the bus station and Adam bought Indian GQ which had a few good pictures in it.

The search for the material began the next morning and as is usually the way it turned out that it was in the first shop we'd visited which was furtherest away from the tailors! However it is quite a big thing getting a suit made, and although it was only going to cost a fraction of what you would have to pay in the UK, it was still a significant amount of money to be spending and Adam wanted to make sure it was right. Once the fabric was bought we took it back to the tailors and he measured Adam up, we were both encouraged by how well he seemed to understand what Adam wanted and were hopeful that the finished article was going to live up to expectations.

The next day we went to Commercial Street to try and find some shirts for Adam but it turned out to be mainly Saree shops and anyway buying shirts from stalls is an altogether tricky business. They don't like you trying anything on really and when they don't have what you're looking for they just start getting out lots of things which are kind of similar and you feel very guilty when you go 'no, no, no' and then leave them to pack it all away again. In the afternoon Adam went for a fitting and there were now two tailors who pinned and drew on the 'in-progess' suit which really only required minor tweaking here and there and of course the finishing touches. It was coming together very nicely and seemed like it was going to be money well invested.

The next day we were due to pick up the suit at 8pm and catch our train at 9:45pm. We decided to go to the cinema to fill some time and in doing so we discovered a very nice shopping mall, which even had a Marks & Spencers. We saw Monsters vs Aliens which was ok, not the best film of that kind I've seen but entertaining enough. Afterwards though we both began to feel a little bit under the weather and decided that getting the train didn't appeal to either of us. So even though it meant a bit more time in Bangalore we went to the train station and cancelled our ticket and rebooked for another 3 days time.

In the evening we went to pick up Adam's suit and were really pleased with the final result. It was nicely fitted in the legs and the arms were long enough, which is a rarity for Adam. All in all it was a very good job on the part of the tailor and we were both pleased to have met such a nice man. There were a few gentlemen in there and they asked us about our trip and seemed generally interested, the whole thing turned out to be a memorable experience.

The rest of our time in Bangalore was really centred around shopping. Realising that the city offered the best variety we had encountered in India we thought we better take advantage. My mobile screen somehow got broken while lying on the bed so I bought a cheap one to tide me over and Adam finally found two shirts which fitted him well and a pair of trousers. So all in all we did well.

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We left Bangalore with a few more possessions than when we arrived and having discovered our favourite city in India. Despite this a week in once place was enough and we were definitely in need of a change of scenery.

More Soon,

Laura & Adam

Posted by LauHot10 08:20 Archived in India Tagged round_the_world

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