Wednesday, November 21, 2012

India # 40 Getting to Know Your Neighbors III--Updated Dec. 2


I'm back in the USSA but before putting this blog to bed I want to write a couple of overviews.  I also want to go provide a little photo gallery from the time before I began uploading photo's.  Here's one about the neighborhood where I lived and the people who live there, beginning with kids just getting out of school a half block away.

 
 
Rickshaws serve as school buses, cramming as many as 10 kids in a conveyance for two.
 
Another common scene was moms and dads taking their kids to school in the morning between their legs on motorbikes.  All of the examples I saw were of children in uniforms which meant they were among the 26 percent of Indian children who go to private schools.  These schools--all the way up to high school--had religiously-affiliated names and nearby.
 
These next three photos are of the indoor portion of the Muslim "Johnson's Market" which began two blocks away.  The meat and fish portion of the market attracted an attractive member of the eagle family that is called in India a pariah kite.  I was unable to get a satisfactory picture of it.











Another way to buy fruits and vegetables is from the numerous carts pushed through the neighborhood.  The two photos above show a vendor calling up to someone in an apartment whom you can barely see.  This apartment was the same distance--less than a block--as the homeless family and the dilapidated post office you can see below. 


One of many flower stalls...


 Paper goods and office supplies guy who wanted his picture taken....




The upper picture is the outside of a four room clinic that handles 13 medical specialties and cured my pneumonia for $7.  The lower picture is of the pharmacy across the street where I got three prescriptions for $4.80.



 
Several of my neighbors were goats
 
 
 
...and at least one was a cow, seen outside a small grocery store, which seemed to live off garbage.
 
 
This is one of six little laundries that operated on the street in my neighborhood with this being the most substantial.  I had laundry service, a real luxury.
 
 
Bangalore, like other cities most notably Mumbai, is a city of enormous contrasts.  This shows one of several high-rise buildings in "UB City," near where I lived.  UB stands for United Brewery and is owned by the same man who oppresses travelers by offering them only one kind of beer, Kingfisher.  Below is a Louis Vuitton window, one of the many very expensive shops in the center.
 
 
 
 
The picture below is taken two blocks from my apartment and not far from UB Center.  In the background are the huts of squatters who have lived there for years.   Some very cute kids lived here along with a lot of dogs.
 

The picture below is taken right behind the picture above and it shows "the Post Office."  The yellow sign at the bottom directs people to Casa Cottages, the complex where I stayed,  (you only see part of the sign) and which was said to be "behind the Post Office" in its web site directions.  It is the pink building but it is so run down I lived there for three weeks without realizing what it was.  I wasn't entirely certain even when I went inside.  Under the eaves of the Post Office and behind the barrel lived three people.   They are homeless but have lived in this open space for years.  At night they cook on a small open fire and sleep under the eaves behind a lean-to of plywood.  A few pots seem to be their only possessions.  In front you see a pile of trash.  On some days the pile could be quite high and sorted into bags.  The younger woman collected trash and eventually sold it, apparently when a buyer came around.  She is leaning over in the mid-ground, washing some clothes.   I regularly gave her money and thanked her for cleaning up the neighborhood.  I'm not sure I was understood.  It only rained seriously once in the two months I was there.  The monsoon season must be hard on them.

 
Coming back to the constant contrasts and change, below is one of six new buildings going up in the neighborhood, two blocks from the squatters and the Post Office.
 
 
Bangalore sits at 3,500 feet and was enveloped in trees, both natural and introduced, and was beautifully planned by the British, making it a retirement haven.  Much of this urban forest remains but the New York Times characterized it as having gone from the "garden to the garbage" city.  As covered in earlier posts, the city has a broken system for collecting garbage and seemingly no options left for where to put it. 
 
 
This is not one person's laundry but that of a laundry, which seem to be drying garments in a progression of colors.
 
 
 
Bollywood movie posters are plastered wherever there's an unguarded wall...
 
 
 


Bangalore has been famous for the abundance of its trees and old timers are distressed so many have been taken down in favor of buildings, which has increased temperatures.  But many, many remain and provide a broad canope. 



This is the patio of my apartment, under a coconut tree.  The apartment was recently converted from the B and B's office and I was just the second tenant.

 
 

One block over from my apartment was Casa Cottages, an 18-unit B and B with a wonderful staff of eight, including the lovely woman above.  I ate breakfast most days there and got help with travel plans, a trip to the doctor's when sick and a couple of nights drinking scotch with the owner.  




 

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