May 2006 in Bangalore through the eyes of an Englishman

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31/5/2006 - A Departure

There have been many occasions when Terry, in her alter ego form - affectionately known as Terry-2, has demanded that I get her an immediate first class ticket back to the USA. Usually, the next day, the request has been forgotten, or at least shelved. Last week though, Terry-1 said she'd like to go back to the US for a while and asked me quite pleasantly if I'd get her a ticket. Asked nicely, I'm a reasonably obliging fellow, and today it is a done deal.

There are now direct flights by BA from Bangalore to Heathrow. Unfortunately they set off at some ungodly hour in the morning, and the authorities like to have you there 3 hours before the flight. So technically I'm talking in June, but what the hell. Bangalore 'International Terminal' is extraordinarily passenger unfriendly. There are two stages as far as anyone accompanying a passenger is concerned. There's standing outside in the open air, and there's standing behind a fence in a corner of the check-in area watching your partner struggle with heavy luggage. Of course, one of Terry's bags was overweight, so she had to drag her stuff back away from the check-in desk and attempt to transfer things from one overstuffed bag to another. Not a soul offered to help her. Eventually I managed to get the attention of a porter, and bribed him to go and help.

Some things got taken out and were passed over the fence to me, then after an agonizingly long time, Terry's baggage was checked. I was kissed and sent home at that point, since the fence was not a good spot for romantic lingering - more like a rugby scrum - she wasn't allowed out, and I wasn't allowed in. I departed to my bachelor bed.

Another scorcher of a day.
21/5/2006 - End of the Summer?

Well, it's another scorcher today, and I suppose we should make the most of it, since in another 10 days or so the monsoon should be upon us, and then it will be a different picture.

We'll wander in to town this afternoon to pay for some jewelry that Terry 'bought' on credit. While I'm there I must take a picture I've been meaning to do for a few weeks now. More on that later. I should also buy some more socks. Isn't life exciting?

Motorazr 3.
21/5/2006 - Life's Rich Pattern

Terry's attempts with the insurance company over the lost/stolen phone proved abortive. The maximum they were ever going to pay back was RS 5000, and it was pretty obvious that they were going to stall over that forever.

In the end, her friends who had attended the party clubbed together and bought her another one. The night before last, she left it in an auto. Miraculously, the auto driver noticed it, and brought it back - the guy deserves a sainthood.

Last night I watched the first innings of the second India/West Indies ODI at TGIF. I think most of India probably went to bed at that point, since the Windies total of 198 seemed like something the India one-day team could chase with ease. This morning though I watched the tail end of the match highlights to discover that the Windies won by one run with Yuvraj clean bowled by the last ball of the innings instead of belting it out of the field to win the match. I'll bet he was pissed off.

The aftermath

21/5/2006 - Trench Warfare

Yesterday a large gang of labourers appeared with crowbars and shovels and proceeded to dig a long trench along the gutter of our side of Cambridge Road. In the course of the day, it went from nothing to about 400m long 1m deep and 0.5m wide, chopping off all the cross roads in the process. By evening, they had deposited 150mm plastic piping in the bottom of the trench and pushed the dirt back into an untidy heap. The end of the trench corresponds to the new office block that they've just about finished down the road opposite the Frank Antony school.

I'm guessing the whole operation was illegal, based on the premise that a pipe in the ground is worth two in the bush. The development company will probably have to pay a fine, but the conduit will stay put, and the new office block will get its phone lines and Internet connections.

The interesting bit now will be to see who, if anyone, cleans up the mess. The trench will have destabilized the new pavements that were put in down that side of the road recently, and the dirt was not put back in a compacted state - just heaped over the pipe. The busy road is narrow enough, and is now effectively a meter narrower. In two weeks, the monsoon will arrive, and if it isn't properly backfilled and sealed by then, the dirt will probably all get washed away.

Misplaced message?
4/5/2006 - The Message

Terry came back from shopping today to discover this taped to our door. Well yes I am 64 now, and burn-out is a distinct possibility, but I have a feeling that this was directed at Rahul Dravid, who has been using his apartment here recently. Unfortunately it came to rest on the wrong door.

Terry has begun a battle to recover some of the cost of her phone from the Oriental Insurance Company. Taking note of her track record, she took out insurance on this one. She spent about five hours at a police station filing a report of the theft.
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