HomeThe trip (June-July 2005)

Bangalore (29 June 2005)

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Well, rumor has it that it's Wednesday today. Makes sense, we left on Sunday evening and basically flew all day Monday. Monday morning in Frankfurt we were pretty wiped (pics on Adam's camera of JS asleep on the floor outside the boarding area for the onward flight to B'lore that they wouldn't open until about an hour before the flight left). Adam and I had something of a hegira, looking for the airport left-luggage (Gepaeckbewahrung...?) so that we can have a place to leave excess luggage for the excursion to Dublin (multiple passes thru the Bundesgrenzschutz checkpoints, why are your passports already stamped? etc.). Initially it appeared that only lockers were available that wd have been prohibitively expensive, meaning that we wd have to use the railway left-luggage. Meher and I had a very expensive breakfast marred by the fact that the cafes are where people have to go to smoke! Gauloises are advertised by a combination of exoticism and appeal to the Marlboro ethic: "Liberté toujours," and a face of a beautiful dark-skinned woman. The obligatory text-only health warning at the bottom of the poster not a patch on the impact of the former.

Azeem (M's next younger brother)
and Adam in Rafi's flat, the night
we got in.

Adam was taking pictures too, that

Rafi (the youngest sibling) in his flat,
where he put us up.

The view from Rafi's balcony.

The only adventure was that the boys and I went with Rafi to Brigade Road ("downtown") where he was going to get his haircut. While he did that we walked a big circuit thru the downtown (I cd observe the boys getting the occasional looks from people, young women included, because of their hair as much as anything else). JS made the mistake of giving the first beggar boy we met all his small money, thus attracting a swarm of more such boys, one of whom was very persistent, fobbed off eventually only by Adam giving him one of his euro coins. We got back to Azeem's, and had a supper prepared by the 2 maids who work for the 2 families, mainly by Azeem's, a 17y-old named Shameem. This in turn made for swirls of conversation between Azeem, Rafi and Meher, and between she and I this morning, as you can imagine around the issues of how much help she is to the household, how much exploited she is or isn't, what the family can do to help, and (M and me) what some of the possible complications and implications of such help might be (informed variously by M's own experience as a teenager going to school and doing a maid's work for the family, and by the Mikalauskas family history, Anna's and Mary's early entries into the work force, Lenore's later, etc. etc. [Lenore is my mother; two of her older sisters, now dead, were Anna and Mary]

Adam, M, M's mother, and Bhaiah,
M's older brother.

Shameem and Aliyah, Azeem's

M's sister Munni, M, and I went to do some grocery shopping, and this was the view from the fruit and vegetables store. At the right, the view from the gallery outside Munni's and Azeem's flats.

Anyway, this morning M and I went for a longish walk along the big road visible outside Rafi's flat, just for the walk, and to buy some coffee (instant, alas). The traffic flows, and walking along the road is like walking beside a stream in spate, but with intervals of sidewalk. A video camera is the only way to do justice to what driving and walking here are like. But, for myself, I wd say I am enjoying myself thoroughly (among other things, the weather is very pleasant, warm but not at all oppressively hot; nights even are cool!).
love, ---tad.

Notes from the future: this is a bit that M wrote by way of introduction to the trip, the week between christmas and new years. We had been planning the trip for about a year and yet it was a miracle to get us all out of the house and to the airport in Toronto. Departures are so traumatic for us that I am pretty sure that I will walk out on my guys while we are all preparing to go on a trip. This departure was fraught with the usual and the extra aggravations. In a word, the departure itself was a miracle. We managed to stuff ourselves into a cab when Tim remembered the ultimate errand of putting a hold on our mail ["remembered," having already been downtown to try to leave the laptop i use in teaching for repairs while we're away, and having stopped at a drugstore that did not have a postal outlet]. Murderously I said that it was a Sunday but, as someone who is adept at cutting things fine, he knew a postal outlet in a drug store both of which are open on Sundays. So, we stopped at the drug store and while Tim went in to do the needful, the kids and I talked most shamelessly of doing in Tim. The trip meter on the taxi kept on clicking. [back to top]


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all text and images on this site are © M. Shaik and T. A. Dickinson 2005 unless otherwise noted; some images are © A. K. Dickinson 2005.