Every time I arrive in Bangalore it feels like coming home. Even the kids – who were last here three and a half years ago – said it feels “welcoming” and “comfortable” here, particularly at IISc where we lived. We arrived on December 29; Pam and the kids get four days here before making the long trip home. I’ve posted some photos.
So far we’ve spent time with friends and families of friends. On Sunday we had a wonderful lunch at MTR with Bhavna’s parents, on Monday we had breakfast with Rima and her parents, and afternoon tea with neighbors at IISc. Today (New Year’s Day) we’re resting and plan a bit of shopping.
Lunch at MTR is always an incredible experience. I first ate there in April 2009 and have returned several times. That location, the original, is an old building and you practically walk through the kitchen to get to your table – a bustling kitchen with vats of bubbling curry and sambar. On Sunday we visited a newer MTR location on the top floor of a new hotel building in Jayanagar. We had to wait 45 minutes for a table, because so many families were out for a Sunday meal. The anticipation only makes it tastier! They filled a roomful of tables all at about the same time; this is how they are so efficient. Everyone sits at the same time. Then they lay out the plates. Then a flurry of waiters come around, each carrying a bucket of something — chutney, curry, salad, etc – stopping at each table to slop some onto each plate. If you want more of anything, you just wave down the waiter when he comes around with more. I made the same mistake I’ve made before, that is, to ask for more dosa only to realize that there are several more courses to come. Mara and I counted 20 separate foods they delivered. We were so full, but the food is so wonderfully tasty.
Our first visit to IISc was a real treat for the kids. We went to their favorite candy shop, and we walked through our old neighborhood and along the same route to the school bus stop. This brings back so many memories! one would say “remember when we saw…” or “remember the time when we did…” and they would all laugh about it. We tried to visit our apartment but it is occupied by new residents who did not seem to understand why we were visiting. We did have a nice tea with our downstairs neighbor, talking politics and listening to her visiting daughter tell about her experience living in NYC through Hurricane Sandy.
We spent New Years Eve at one of our favorite restaurants (The Tandoor) on M.G. Road, and walked back via Brigade Road, which was festooned with colorful lights for the holidays. Hundreds of people were gathering in this popular street, and 16,000 police were patrolling the area [The Hindu]. Back at our hotel, a dance party had thumping loud music until after midnight, and the kids stayed up late watching movies.
Do check out the photos. Now we’re off to do some more exploring. More later!