Saturday, July 05, 2008

First Impressions of Returning to Bangalore

OK, so it’s been India for a while now – a week in Bangalore, and overall it has been much more easy-going and productive than I expected. My local friends at IBAB organized things very well, from the hotel where I stayed first to the local accommodation within the International Technology Park Bangalore (ITPB) everything was working smoothly. I have to admit: I was working quite hard the last week, both preparing lectures for the local courses as well as finishing publications that have been on my desk for ages, but whether you actively seek it or not: a trip to India is always a very colorful experience which has in fact just started for me.

When I arrived in Bangalore I was staying in a local hotel first – and it was a hotel not really frequented by tourists (I didn’t see a single western person during the two nights I stayed there). But since I also called this hotel my home for a few days on my last trip in 2007 it was a kind of ‘coming back’ experience which was interesting: I am going to a place far away from home, a place I would never ever have visited by myself (since I would never have heard of that hotel without arrangements made by locals), but I was partly feeling again at home there. I explored whether the places I have known from last year where still around during my first day. And the place changed a bit – construction work in the street was finished, so the street was certainly more quiet than last time. (But still twice as chaotic as the most chaotic street in the whole of the Netherlands.) A few impressions from the area:

A soon-to-be bride picking a good yarn for her dress. (That's at least my interpretation as a naive tourist. But given it was a bridal/wedding store this lends at least some credibility to my interpretation.)

The local cinema, opposite my hotel. I wanted to watch a good Bollywood movie my first night in Bangalore – but we ‘unfortunately’ went for dinner that night (It was delicious dinner, but somehow I really got into the idea of watching a movie that day.) The whole street was packed shortly before the movie started – something big just came out (though I don’t remember the name of the movie). I will certainly come back later for a movie th

My local liquor store, still alive and kicking! As usual, perfectly able to provide me with a bottle of ice cold Kingfisher.

School kids on the street. Somehow I really like pictures which show trivialities of everyday life – no clue why. To me it means something, maybe just because I was there at the same the picture was taken.

Time for new ads. Vodafone was yesterday, today it's time for Orange.

Corner shop with chicken.

School kid.

Welcome dinner with Prof Yathindra at the Grand Ashok in Bangalore. Delicious buffet!

At work.

Local cocktail bar within the Tech Park. (There are about 10 restaurants, a few shops etc., and this cocktail bar in the technology park so if I don't want to leave the park I don't have to.) Went there once on my first day but not again – somehow I prefer the local food to this 'westernized' place.

My apartment from the outside. I am living on the left hand side (‘behind the tree’), 4th floor. About 50 meters walk from work (which is probably the closest commute of all people in Bangalore.)

Entrance hall of my apartment. Yes, a photo taken against the sun – my apologies, but I have other things to do than to take a second photo of the entrance hall of my apartment (such as writing this blog). A very bright place, with a well-equipped kitchen. I like it.

View from the balcony. Forest straight ahead, biotech park to the left.

View from my balcony, on the biotech park. I know, it’s easy to impress me with ‘bigger-better-faster’ - but pictures like this looks like pure power to me. I like being where things happen – in the middle of it all.

The place to have a good night's rest.

A local self-help column from the newspaper. Makes quite a lot of sense to me - I recommend a read.

Entrance to the Institute of Bioinformatics and Applied Biotechnology, IBAB; my workplace. Very motivated students, I like that. I am entering this door about 25 times per day, leaving for things like a freshly squeezed mango juice or a delicious lunch or dinner.

The local gym I still need to join…

A local food store…

Supermarket in the Tech Park Mall

Coffee with love...

Someone grinning in front of the Tech Park.

A little more local food - though not the restaurant where I usually eat.

Last Friday a colleague from IBAB, Gayatri, invited me to join her for her talk at the Indian Institute of Management (IIM) in Bangalore, one of the best management schools in the country. Well, not only that – they also have a terrific campus that looks more like a botanical garden to me! The atmosphere was really difficult to capture, so here are some attempts only…

The IIMB Garden.

Everyone needs a good sleep once in a while.

A goodbye-picture after the talk, with our host at IIMB and Gayatri who was just giving her talk.

So much for now ... more exciting stories to come later when the traveling season starts for me! Pune, Chandigarh, Mysore, ... are still on the program - check back for updates! Take care - Andreas


Anonymous said...

Sir, hope that you'll recognise me in your class. Yes am your student. Couldn't just restrain myself from writing a few lines for your post.

Really great photos, never thought the Tech Park mall looked so fresh and lonely.

Its really a new look for the always crowded mall.

Catch me cooking at:

Sheetal Arya said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sheetal Arya said...

Sir, I'm your student at IBAB. I sit in the front-middlemost row. Hope you'll recognize me. I never expected that ITPB would look so picturesque. I'm extremely interested in drug-designing with related to cancer-biology. I'm always eager to attend your lectures. Hope you'll have a pleasant stay in B'lore.

Unknown said...

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