Planet Haolewood

A toolbox, a change of underwear, and a surfboard.

Monday, March 09, 2009

Taking a Break

If I ever win the lottery (which seems unlikely since I never play) I won’t rush out to buy a new house or car. First I’ll hire a personal chef and I would have them decide what to make for me. It’s even better than eating out at a restaurant because you don’t have to make any decisions. Delicious meals simply appear before you.

Traveling in India is a bit like winning the lottery because though I’m not rich by US standards, just being able to afford to fly to India makes me fabulously wealthy by Indian standards. I didn’t hire a personal chef to travel with me but every meal I ate in India was prepared by someone else, ridiculously cheap and -without exception- delicious.

The next stop after our visit to the village was the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore. While my brother-in-law met with a colleague of his there and my sister prepared to give a talk to ecology students, we stayed in a guest house on the grounds of the leafy, spacious campus that reminded me of Stanford University where as a kid I rode my bicycle to the video arcade. We played poker with pieces of yarn for chips, did laps in the pool and ate in the dining hall where visiting foreigners ate fabulous meals three times a day.

Not a bad existence, actually, and we needed a rest after all the long car rides. The pleasant pace of life at the IIS was a sharp contrast to the chaos of the streets of Bangalore outside its walls. One of the fastest growing cities in Asia, Bangalore is exhausting to navigate and has little to recommend it for sightseeing. So we mostly favored our pleasant refuge with only brief forays into the outside world.

Did I mention the food was good? India is without a doubt the most vegetarian friendly place I’ve ever been. Santa Cruz is a only a DISTANT second. Indian food is my favorite and I’ve lived almost three years on an island without a single Indian restaurant. I never got tired of the food and I never spent more than four dollars on a meal.


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