Sunday, May 29, 2011

Hike on a hot day!

Did a ton of walking today, and took some pictures too; will probably try to integrate the pictures into a project later on.

Had my my first moment of feeling on-edge and vulnerable; having drained my pantry from the previous shopping trip, I needed to convert some money (America-style) into money (India-style) in order to eat! However, once I got to MG road, the main currency exchange places were all closed for Sunday. I was really planning to head back and try to rustle up something to survive on from the snack kitchens at Microsoft or something,* but then I passed a handbag shop (!) that did exchanges, and traded money. Then I went to Empire Hotel, a nearby Indian place that I remembered from last visit, and ate delicious food ravenously.

On the way back, I was walking down Infantry Road and realized I was pretty confident that that road leading off to the right was a shortcut (I did not have my GPS). I was very excited when I was right; I really feel like I'm getting a feel for the "neighborhood." I have no aspirations to do any sort of "pac tom" project, but I'd informally just like to know where I am and how to get home from anywhere within a three or four mile radius of my apartment, which would be a fair portion of Bangalore and would probably put me ahead of most residents and many autorickshaw drivers. I think I'm well on the way there.

By the way, my cousin is currently in Uganda, and has a blog of his own. He posted a video with the comment "the traffic is insane." This has maybe made me just a little bit competitive, so expect some crazy traffic videos next week. Until then I leave you with these pictures from last time.
Windsor Manor Road Bridge Accident
* In reality, I probably would have just broken down and tried to use a credit card; my cards should presumably work here, but in case "oh hi, I'm in bangalore" trips an alarm and the card is denied, I've been avoiding this when I don't have a backup of paying in cash.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Saturday run, Saturday walk

Failed to do any running this week, so this morning I got up early and ran for a bit around Cubbon Park, and then after piddling around the office for a bit, took the scenic route home from work today; I'll have to do that again with a camera to actually give people a sense of the place.

My priority for tomorrow is to walk down to MG road and try to trade some U.S. dollars for some rupees so I can re-stock my kitchen. It is an inevitable complication of working in a foreign country that you always start out with an inconveniently small amount of foreign currency and end up with an inconveniently large amount of the same.

Happy Memorial Day!

Monday, May 23, 2011

2 Runs

Yesterday I talked about my walk, but Saturday (2 days ago) and today I went on some runs; these are likely to be more frequent.

Saturday's run was just around the block, I'm still recovering from the Pittsburgh Marathon and mostly just wanted to stretch my legs. This morning (Monday) I ran this route, which more-or-less went around the cricket stadium. I had plans to run the length of Cubbon Road and back, but those plans were not to be: in the confusion of construction in Minsk Square, I took Queen's Road towards MG Road instead of Cubbon, and then overshot MG Road, circled the stadium, and made my way back on Infantry Road, a path I'd thought though a little bit after the walk yesterday.

Having a GPS watch was absolutely a godsend for this run: I didn't have a clear idea where I was at any point between Minsk Square and Infantry Road, but I knew whether I was more-or-less running towards or away from familiar areas.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Bangalore, Take II

I'm back in Bangalore! I'm not planning on traveling as much as last time, but I am going to try to get to know the city better through running and walking. Right now, the only part of Bangalore where I am confident that I know where I am is on the route between my hotel and Bashyam Circle, which I walked almost daily the last time I was here, (the office is right before Bashyam Circle).

Today I tried to walk to Commercial Street and/or MG road, but kind of failed: once I got to the bus station I was confused and thought I may have gotten off track: I had not, and if I'd kept going straight I would have ended up at Kamaraj Road as I intended. Instead, I turned right at the bus station, but then needed to go one block further than I actually went in order to get to Cubbon Road. I did, however, recognize the intersection of Infantry and Central as a hazy landmark, so I may try to pass that intersection again from another direction to reinforce that.

Anyway, after I bailed and found my way back to familiar relatively-familiar Cunningham Road, I went to the new Au Bon Pain (right across the street from the McDonald's that didn't get the memo about Indian Independence Day), where I got a delicious cappuchino that cost me $0.90. If those guys had WiFi I'd probably move in! Back at the apartment I was able to reconstruct my path with high confidence.