Wednesday, 1 July 2009

Why a pavement is not just a pavement

Some of the local people I have met here find it unusual, if not somewhat eccentric, that our family walk as much as we do. This is not a city for walkers, but we are walkers, what can I say? I've always loved walking (okay, except perhaps for when I was very little and my mother constantly kicked us outside for fresh air and treks which I protested at the time but for which nowI'm very grateful!) and hope that Maya and Lily will one day derive as much pleasure from it as Andy and I do.

My love for using my legs does, however, present us with certain challenges here. Let me give you an example of why a pavement is not just a pavement in Bangalore. Yesterday afternoon Maya, Lily and I walked about 400 metres to a new kids club that had opened to just check it out. Maya's latest thing is undertaking journeys armed with notebook and pen to 'jot down' interesting things on the way (there's my girl!) and therefore, on this journey, I also had a chance to note down a few things that made our short journey not your average amble along the pavement. Pavements, after all, are meant to be safe...aren't they?!?!

Here are a few things we encountered:

* A pack of mangey, stray dogs sleeping on the pavement who woke up and bared their teeth at us when we stepped over them.
*Potholes. Many, many of them that lead to heaven only knows where.
*A couple of urinating men (weeing on the verge I might add, not actually on the pavement)
* A motorbike parked lengthways across our path. To get round it we had to edge round quite a precipitous slope as for some unfathomable reason the pavement at this point sat at a 90 degree angle.
* Leaves and wood. Lots of it. Possibly the latest victim of Bangalore's tree-hacking culture.
*On a couple of occasions the pavement simply ran out and there was a large drop back on to the road which Maya thought it was great fun to hurl herself from (jumping is another of her latest fads). It was almost as though whoever constructed it just ran out of steam and thought oh sod it, I can't be bothered to do anymore.
*And before you think it's all bad, we also encountered a chai stand on wheels bang smack in our path, laden with tea and biscuits. I didn't get anything though (much to Maya's chagrin) - we're suffering from enough teeth rot thank you very much.

As I have said countless times before there is never, ever a dull moment in India. We love it (apart from the tree-hacking).

No comments:

Post a Comment