Sunday, 12 July 2009

Taking to the streets

As you already know, we like walking. Oh yes. So when we heard about the 3 hour long 'Bangalore Walks' we just could not resist, even if it meant a 6am start (nothing new there anyway) and a possibility of tired, grumpy children if we did not bring enough 'diversion' snacks to post into their mouths at frequent intervals.

We opted for the 'Victorian Bangalore Walk', run by a very knowledgeable guy called Arun who succeeded in transforming the building site that central Bangalore has become to a quiet little Victorian cantonment town full of sedate bungalows with sprawling gardens , churches, lakes and British military. We learnt all kinds of interesting things such as the young Winston Churchill having lived there for 3 years where he read voraciously, tended his roses, played polo and never paid his bill at the prestigious Bangalore Club. We also felt very sorry for poor Mr Dobbie who came a-cropper with a tiger and is now commemorated on the walls of Holy Trinity Church. There definitely aren't enough wild tigers around these days to do much harm to the public; what we had to be far more wary of on our walk were cars and crazy drivers. Oh, if only they'd tread the same path to extinction as the poor tigers, then Bangalore would be far more pleasant!

Maya did brilliantly on the walk. When she was dragged out of bed at 6am she kept asking sleepily 'Where's our going?' When we replied we were going on an adventure, she seemed reasonably satisfied with that.It was a long morning for her, but she partly walked, was partly carried and thankfully, just as we'd run out of snacks and she'd decided that she'd really had enough, we took a break and the discerning Arun re-fuelled us all with biscuits and mango juice.

The walk ended with a delicious breakfast on the top floor of a high building with fantastic views of the city. Though I'm constantly lamenting the loss of Bangalore's trees, one can see from this height that it is, in fact, still a very green city and still just about deserving of its claim as 'the garden city.' Whilst we were having breakfast, another of the walkers asked me if we found it difficult feeding the girls in India. I said that whereas Lily liked food that was a bit spicy, Maya refused to go near it. She overheard me and in protestation said loudly , 'I do like spicy food!' 'You do?' I asked. And in reply, she popped a large bit of idly (steamed rice cake) covered in spicey coconut chutney in her mouth. Perhaps this reverse psychology is the way forward!

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