On Monday and Tuesday Michael and I spent a majority of our time taking care of the little tasks that needed to be done…..buying groceries, washing clothes, getting life organized and meeting LOTS of new people.
I mentioned how nice our apartment is in the last post and we are really enjoying the comfort and convenience of it. This is our living room……
There are two bedrooms and one has now been relegated as storage for all of the trekking stuff.
There are washers downstairs and this wonderful contraption for drying them. You lower the bars to hang up the clothes…..
The kitchen has drying drawer where you put your rinsed dishes so that they can drip dry out of sight…..
Several gentlemen come in each day and clean from head to toe…..there is not a speck of dirt anywhere. They also leave new towels and bottles of water. The water here is not drinkable but between these bottles and the “pure water stations” that abound on campus, we are not having any issues with it.
There is a cafeteria on our campus and we started Monday morning out with breakfast from there…..
The white pancake looking things had a slight sweet flavor while the “doughnut” was savory. The little bowl has Chutney that the breads can be dipped in. It was yummy and cost a whole 75 cents for both!!!
We are staying on one end of the NCBS campus and have to take a shuttle or car service to get to the building where Michael is working. If we need a car, all we have to do is call and ask someone to pick us up. This is a great arrangement but we do feel a bit silly riding in the back of a government car!! The shuttle parks about 50 feet from our front door so it is super easy to catch.
We have found that there are two routes to get between these two properties. One goes thru the city streets with the Agricultural Station / NCBS always on one side of you. The other route used by most cars cuts thru the Station, winding its way thru experimental fields. The amusing thing about this route is that the drivers go down a “cut-through” road that is dirt and FILLED with potholes and washboard areas. I am sure that it makes the trip faster, but I cant imagine the damage that they are doing to their cars when they travel this path.
On Monday morning, we met Krushnamegh at his lab and were introduced to a number of his students. One young man, Kirn, was given the dubious task of taking us to buy groceries and get telephone SIM cards. He patiently waited while we shopped for snacks and other items for the apartment. When we enquired about SIM cards, we were told that it would take several weeks to get one ourselves, however, he could order two extra cards, let us use them while we are here, and then cancel them again. As I write, he is in the process of doing that for us!!!
When we arrived back at the building, all of the students were heading to the Cafeteria for lunch so we asked if we could crash their party. They thankfully said yes so we had lunch with a number of interesting and fun young people. I think that we broke protocol a bit by ordering both Rice and Chipati, but, what the heck!!!
As we were heading back to the building, one of the girls bought a Papaya ice cream bar and of course I had to have one too. It was so sweet and the flavor was so mild…..a perfect end for the meal!!!
We headed back to the apartment to unload our groceries and basically turned around to go back to NCBS for a movie that Krushnamegh was having his students watch. It was a 1960’s film called “Inherit the Wind” and was based on the Scopes Monkey Trial. I had never seen it before and truly enjoyed the evening.
On Tuesday morning, we opted to eat toast with jelly (in our apartment) rather than getting dressed to go to the cafeteria.
We thought that Michael had ordered a car for 10:00 but realized that it had never been finalized. So, we jumped on the 10:30 shuttle and then had the awful thought of “I hope that this goes to a part of NCBS that I can recognize”!!! Never to fear, the trip was uneventful and we arrived with no problems.
……. 15 rupes….about 25 cents!! The “ball” is a potato curry that has been breaded and fried…..YUM!!!
We were back at the cafeteria for lunch shortly thereafter……
The corn salad was so fresh and had a bit of sweetness to it.
I returned to the apartment to wash clothes while Michael stayed to get ready for the class that he was teaching. This is where I found my unexpected treasure!!!
I was waiting for the clothes to spin for the last time and was just strolling down the corridor between the apartment building and a large concrete fence with barbed wire on top. As I walked past, a little boy popped his head over the top and smiled at me. I said “hello” and he smiled bigger. I kept walking for a few yards and then turned back around to return to my washer. As I walked past, he motioned for me to come over to him. As I did, he handed me a small bag of crunchy cheese goodies and motioned that it was a gift for me. I told him a heartfelt thank you and left with my heart filled with amazement that this little boy, who probably had nothing in the world, was willing to give me such a sweet gift.
These interactions are one reason that I LOVE to travel!!!
Tuesday night ended with an Italian meal with Krushnamegh and two of his students, Saurav and Riddhi. It was fun talking to them about things that we need to see and do while we are in Bangalore. Saurav is from Nepal and he told us of a few foods that we MUST try while we are there. Ahhhh. so much eating to do and SO little time!!!
I had one laugh while we were driving……the road was very crowded and traffic was crawling along. An ambulance approached from behind and everyone slowly moved over to give him a lane. As he slid thru the opening, so did about 15 motorcycles that were closely following their “battering ram”.