RTW TRIP BANGALORE, INDIA DAY 116: THE BANGALORE BLAST
We were excited to head to Bangalore, as we were meeting up with some New York friends here. After a long and pretty comfortable sleeper bus from Trivandrum to Bangalore, we arrived at our friend’s apartment early in the morning. Our NY friend was in India the same time as us, and her boyfriend split his time between Bangalore and NY. His apartment was big, modern, and beautiful, so we felt quite pampered when we stayed with Taylor and Vinay!
As soon as we arrived in Bangalore, I felt that exciting rush of sensory overload I sometimes get when I arrive in big Indian cities. The busy and timeless streets, insane traffic, random cows amongst the cars, gazillion vendors, ornate temples, markets galore, with the most amazing street life you could ever imagine. What was great was that while Vinay’s apartment was close to all these fabulous sights, he lived on a quiet street with a local breakfast place, charming houses, and giant neighborhood dogs.
Bangalore also offers uber modern luxuries, from designer clothing stores, to fancy bars and restaurants. We headed to a Brooklynesque bar/restaurant called the Biere Club in the Church Street neighborhood. While I didn’t think of this place to be a very Indian experience (but what is?), I actually didn’t realize that it was a very upper middle class Bangalore experience. Some of Vinay’s awesome friends joined us for some craft beer and food which included authentic nachos. Yes, you read that right. CRAFT BEER and AUTHENTIC NACHOS. I was in heaven.
We were having a great time, and wanted to have more drinks so we first headed to a simple bar, only we had to change bars since women weren’t allowed. I was sad because I think it sounded totally like my kind of bar. Very local, and a bit divey. Instead, we headed to a bar that looked familiar… Brick walls, wooden flooring, industrial lighting and tables… Again, I realized that I was sitting in another bar that looked like it came straight out of Brooklyn. It was comforting in a way!
Right when we sat down and ordered drinks, there was a bit of commotion, and all the guests started leaving in droves. The staff and our friends said we should leave as well, as we found out there was a small explosion only a block away from where we were. Needless to say, this cut the night short, and I was very happy to get out of there. We later found out one woman was killed in the explosion, with numerous explanations as to why the explosion happened. It definitely was too close for comfort, and we were glad we got home safe.
This tragic event was both sad and scary, but do know that we were close to the explosion by chance, and things like this do not normally happen. We spent several days in Bangalore and felt safe throughout our trip.
2 rickshaws to Vinay and Taylor’s 200
Dinner of nachos, burger, beer 1000
Tuktuk from the Biere Club to Vinay’s 150
Total cost: 1600 rupees / 2 = $12.60 per person
What I learned: If you are traveling and notice that there is a sudden exodus, go with the flow and do the same. You may not know what may be happening, but it is better to take precautions just in case.
Actual date of travel: Dec. 28, 2014