It looks like a city

Updated: Jan 15, 2019

| Author: Casey |

It feels like I need to treat this post with a certain amount of reverence, as it might very well be your first introduction to GCIL, and to India. My first introduction to India happened at 4:30 am on January 5th, and it was not a very reverent occasion. Six students and 2 faculty had come in on the same flight. We were all incredibly tired, and did our best to remain standing as we waited for a bus from the airport. The drive to the Indian Social Institute (also known as ISI, and our home for the next few months) consisted of our faces craned constantly towards the windows, trying to make out the shapes of Bangalore in the dark. It was a mix of empty new office buildings, flaking billboards, and people strolling down the highway in the dead of night. “It looks like a city,” was the general agreement of the group.

A 14 hour flight and a 13.5 hour time difference clearly made us very poetic.

Once the sun rose a few hours later, my introduction to Bangalore continued. And maybe it’s the jetlag, or the sheer amount of things that we have done, but this particular sun rise feels like it happened at least a week ago, and not only a couple of days.

A few things about Bangalore that I have learned, and you should know: There are more trees than you expect, coffee comes with the milk already added to it, and if you want to cross the street you better just go already.

A few things about Bangalore I hope I know soon: How to divide by 70 in my head (This is the approximate exchange rate from rupees to USD.), how many people can fit into an auto rickshaw, and how, exactly, I’m supposed to cross the street when the traffic never stops.

On Sunday there was an art fair blocking off some roads that was very big and very busy. Meenakshi, one of our faculty members from India, thought it was peaceful. It is not often in Bangalore that you can walk in the road without any cars honking at you. I thought it was like the Minnesota State Fair, which, if you’ve never been, is ridiculously hot, incredibly crowded, and more expensive than you want it to be. But seeing as I paid 50 rupees for a painting, maybe that isn’t quite a fair comparison. If you’re paying attention, that’s less than $1.

So that’s another thing I’ve learned about Bangalore: It’s a little busier than what I’m used to.

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