Tuesday, 17 July 2012

The Road to Bangalore

In an effort to catch up with my blogging, I've decided that the next two posts (about Bangalore) will be primarily picture posts with a few captions since I detailed a lot about Bangalore in the posts after my last visit. I hope you all don't mind! Besides, the pictures are the best part of any post anyway!

On June 30th, Nipsi, Alfonso, Cecile, Andrew and I sadly moved out of our lovely flat in Besant Nagar here in Chennai. It felt strange to pack up my things since I had only unpacked a few months earlier. However, as a result, it was super easy to get my things organized since I barely have anything with me. After we left the house for the last time, Nipsi and I moved to our friend Leila's apartment for the night and enjoyed a farewell (of sorts) dinner at By the Bay, our local Lebanese restaurant. It was nice to relax and take in the ocean after the chaos of the day. It wasn't a true farewell since we'll still be in and around Chennai and I really hope to have at least one more dinner in Besant Nagar before I go.

My sad empty room!

Besant Nagar beach at night

Funny parking sign outside Leila's house

The next morning, Nipsi and I loaded up the car with a few things and hit the road. We left around noon so we stopped for brunch at a roadside restaurant once we were outside of Chennai and on the road properly. This stop gave me the chance to have my first thali here in India. A thali is essentially an all-inclusive meal where all the different elements arrive on the same plate (or banana leaf). The different dishes are usually 'bottomless' so you can ask for a refill if needed. We ordered one northern Indian thali and one southern Indian but to be honest, the only difference I saw was that mine (the southern one) included a chapati. However, thalis generally differ depending on where you are as they include regional dishes and specialities. The idea behind the meal is that you add your rice to the center of the plate and then add in whatever you want, mix it all together and then eat... usually with your right hand and without utensils. The ability to mix the ingredients into a somewhat solid bite is a skill I haven't quite mastered yet so I ended up spilling a lot of rice.  All in all, it was absolutely delicious and I highly recommend giving it a try if you get a chance! I think these meals are catching on outside of India as well so I'm going to check out some of the London restaurants when I get back.

Different gravies for my rice

Bean and cabbage dishes - delicious!

My south Indian thali with rice, vegetables, gravies, sambar,
yogurt, pickle, buttermilk and  rice dessert. 

All mixed together ready to eat with my hands

The rest of the drive was perfectly uneventful. Nipsi and I enjoyed the opportunity to just relax and sing along to the radio after all the stress involved in moving out of our flat. The following pictures are a selection of things I found interesting, funny, pretty or dangerous on the drive.

One of many guilt inducing signs designed to encourage more
careful driving. 

Pretty scene on the way to Bangalore

Some signs are more to the point than others.

While taking this picture as an example of unsafe travel methods,
I was spotted. These guys found it hilarious that I wanted their picture. 

Would you want to drive behind this?

Another safe driving sign.

So unsafe at such high speeds!

Pretty bus

Perfect driving weather: not too hot and the rain held off

I thought this was just an example of a pretty photo...

But it's also an example of unsafe travel... poor baby! 

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