A nice reprieve from the heat. A little surprising, considering Bangalore sits pretty much on the same latitude as Chennai, just inland by a few hundred kms. I wussed out and opted for a deluxe air conditioned bus for the trip, which lasted just over 7 hours, despite being only 300 kms from Chennai. The length was mostly a result of the poor road conditions, I'm told, that exist all over India.
Hotel in Bangalore was decent. It was walking distance to Brigade and MG roads, the two "happening" places in the city center. Although, I noticed they seem to have jacked their posted prices - almost double - since they got a good review in Lonely Planet. 550rs for a room is still a decent price though - about thirteen bucks a night.
Every day I was at the hotel they where hosting at least one wedding reception in their banquet halls - sometimes two a night. Everytime I left or came back to the hotel there was a party going on - lots of sharp dressed people.
At some point I headed over to the Visvesvaraya Industrial and Technical Museum, located within Cubbon Park (Think Stanley Park on a slightly smaller scale).
The museum was a chaotic mix of kitschy old and modern displays. From the very earnest display on the future of pagers (sponsored by Motorola) to a large plasma TV display on nanotechnology and fiber optics (invented by an Indian). The two floors (yes, floors) devoted to engines wasn't that interesting but on the third floor was a great IBM supercomputer on display from the 50s or 60s. On the roof was a canteen for snacks...and, monkeys. I love this museum. About half a dozen monkeys although I should clarify the canteen wasn't for selling the monkeys...just snacks. The monkeys where just a by-product of all the people eating food up there.
I'm pretty sure the monkeys came from the surrounding Cubbon Park and not the Industrial and Technical Museum. Regardless, they where there. I was in monkey heaven, if such a thing could be (I should have asked the pope when I was hanging with him in Vatican City).
Apparently, monkeys like popcorn. I have proved it. My findings will be published in a scientific magazine...as soon as I can find one who will return my calls. My "research" was conducted by buying a small bag of popcorn at the canteen and walking outside to the roof deck. A rather large monkey spotted my popcorn and came running to me growling like a rabid dog. I won't lie - I was a little scared. It's not every day that a monkey growls menacingly at me. Thanks to my quick wit and years of monkey training (hello, Curious George, anyone?) I was able to quickly drop some popcorn on the ground to avert a potentially dangerous situation.
Bangalore is a great city to relax and "lounge" in. The patio is king in this city and I spent a couple days just relaxing at an outdoor patio...or two. If I had been in Canada and witnessed what I did on one day I would have sworn that I had just witnessed a porn actress interview but I'm pretty sure that wasn't the case...I think it was a legitimate movie audition for the nearby Tamil film industry in Chennai.
Two very attractive women sitting at the table next to me with a couple of boyfriends (slightly greasy). About an hour later a slimy character shows up - turns out he's a movie producer from Chennai. Have the girls acted before? No. Can they sing? No. Do they speak the language (Tamil)? No. Do they have "personality"? Yes! Hired! Apparently you don't need to speak the language - you just have to have a bubbly "personality" and be drop dead gorgeous to get an acting role in the Tamil film industry. This is how I would imagine porn interviews would go...can't act? can't speak English? No problem. Can you start tomorrow?