Ahhh tonight’s post is being written from a bar stool at Xtreme Sports Bar on 100 Feet Road as I wait for my mate Peter to join me for a drink and some dinner. Enrique Iglesias is belting out some sad song and my cosmopolitan is on its way. In fact, this is a FREE cosmopolitan from one ill-fated funky Ladies Night here about 6 weeks ago. I had paid for 2 cosmos and a salad but I abandoned the bar before drinking the 2nd cosmo because it was SO PACKED with screaming girls that I had to bail, haha. If I had been with friends it would have been different but eating a greek salad while sat writing a blog alone when a bar is actually full is about as lame as it gets 🙂 Anyway, I am happy that the bartender remembered me and I didn’t have to ask for it. Nice start to happy hour!
Here in India I find myself amazed and delighted by the extremes and the diversity of the people, the way of life and the city. I find certain things like brooms INSANELY archaic when I see people using tied together twigs. Yet when I order in my dinner and receive an sms with the delivery boy’s mobile number and ETA I am soooo impressed by the techy advancements used here, especially when I never experienced them in Barcelona. The same is true with the diverse sights I take in every day on my drive to work from my flat. I see entrepreneurs out on the streets everywhere. My two favorites are the guy who has a mobile clothes ironing cart that he wheels around my neighborhood, or the mechanic who is always in the same spot at Richard’s Park repairing auto rickshaws under a tree on the side of the road. I love it!
Lately I have been noticing that the construction in the city is handled very differently than U.S. or European companies handle construction. First, I very rarely see men in construction hats, which would be a huge no-no in the EU or the US. And if guys are working in the dirt and not on concrete slabs yet, then I often see them running around with no shoes on. This again would never happen.
Yet it isn’t the construction workers that really catch my eye on a day to day basis as I drive through the streets of Bangalore. It’s the construction material that is used as scaffolding and support beams to ensure that cement dries properly without caving down into the floors below. Any guess? Well….the macho guys of Bangalore have opted out on the traditional aluminum or metal materials that their mates in the EU and US use. Regardless, they have gone back to nature and are completely eco-friendly like good boys! What do they use? They use tree branches! No joke. Never seen this before in my life but I swear to you it is true. I about had a cow the first time I saw a guy climbing on scaffolding made from tree branches at a construction site. They looked like the Indian version of Tarzan Of The Jungle and I wanted to cry out “watch out for that tree, Tarzan” but at that time I didn’t have the guts to stop and take a photo that first day. However, I can verify the quality of the material personally because Shiva my driver swears that this is a very safe and natural solution and that the branches are very strong and secure. 🙂
The thing that I wonder about most though is how they actually get the floors to be completely level using this system. I mean, no two tree branches are identical are they? So they can’t possibly all be the exact same height. So how are they working this magic? I can promise you that if I drop a pencil in my flat that the pencil does not start rolling across the room so obviously the construction must be pretty damn accurate and balanced. But how? The way I figure it, Indian construction workers are supermen with built in levels 🙂 hehe
All around the city — right alongside all the mayhem of the construction sites, the sound pollution from the non-stop horn blowing and the scrappy but sweet stray dogs — lies an amazing amount of beauty too. Sometimes it is simple things like the faces of the adorable kids (Indian babies are toddlers are the cutest kids I have ever seen, I swear!). Or maybe in something that Indians take for granted like NOT seeing graffiti on the walls. I wonder if people here know how terrible the graffiti problem is elsewhere around the world? In Barcelona and Sitges, for example, almost ever building is “tagged” or defaced by kids or gangs using spray paint or massive markers, which takes away from the beauty of the place. It wasn’t always like that but over the past years it has become a huge problem. Yet I have never seen graffiti here. Instead, what I do see from time to time are little gifts of ART. There are walls throughout the city that have been decorated by (what I assume are) local artists. I am always so pleasantly surprised every time I happen across one yet today is the first time I stopped to snap some photos. The drawings are intricate and wonderful. Today I came across a narrow street I had never seen before with a dolphin mural, a woodland scene, a hand-painted advert, and more… I love Bangalore for that little gift.
XOXO from Bangalore
© Angela Carson and Angela’s Adventures in Bangalore (blog and photos) 2011