Wednesday, September 1, 2010
Went to Bangalore for a day. Flew Spice Jet, which was a mistake. I was told of a fifteen minute delay at check-in; we were cooped up in a bus for ten minutes without air conditioning or ventilation before being permitted to board; once aboard the captain extended the total delay time to an hour. After saying we'd be on the ground for another 40 minutes, he ended with, "Enjoy the flight".
The passengers in the back half of the airplane were headed to Calcutta. Why would anybody fly Bombay - Bangalore - Calcutta? Because it's a cheap fare, I guess. The Bangalore leg, though, was far from cheap. In fact, it was the most expensive flight that morning. The only one departing between 6.30 and 8 in the morning, unfortunately.
Bangalore's newish airport is about 50 kilometers from the city. My taxi's meter said 630 rupees at the end of the ride. That's a record for any trip I've taken in a taxi in India.
I wanted to try out a good new restaurant, but was forced by the delay to grab a meal at Cafe Y, the eatery closest to my destination. I'd heard about it, a hip place for youngsters to hang out, apparently.
The room was dark and warm when I entered. The only electrical appliances working were two light bulbs and two ceiling fans.
"No power, sir", the waiter smiled.
I chose to sit outside breathing diesel fumes from the generator.
Sorry sir, no power.
Soup and garlic bread?
Sorry sir, no garlic bread, no power.
I settled for two dishes that could be prepared without recourse to an oven, toaster or microwave: seafood chowder and a plate of potato disks. I ate them feeling happy about the facilities in my home town. They haven't turned the lights out yet, that's one thing we can hold on to in Bombay.