India, week 2: wanderings, temples, and waterfalls

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Evening Sat March 21

I didn’t have any plans for today, so I had decided to walk about down a road that seemed to have a street market along it. (one of the places we drove by on our agonizingly slow trip home last night…) So after watching a bit of cricket (Martin Guptill scored a double-century!) I set off to check it out. On the way I found the all-day breakfast place I had heard rumors about! It’s actually closer to the hotel than the restaurants I have been walking to, so I’ll have to check it out this week.

The market was cool to see but it was almost all produce so I didn’t get anything. At the end of the street there was a mall so I wandered around inside. (and got some tea at a Cafe Coffee Day!) On the second and third floors there was a big supermarket-like store which sold clothes, appliances, groceries, and toys and games. In the toy section there there was a video of someone singing the alphabet song – and she sang “Zed” instead of “Z”! I’ve never felt further away from home…

Found a local place to eat lunch which was fine albeit a little confusing b/c the waiter didn’t speak great English. I’m still not sure exactly what I had, but it was good. Then I walked back to the hotel which took a little while, although I got my 10K steps in for the first time since I’ve been here!

Afterwards I was a little exhausted (and hot! It was almost 100 outside) so I spent the rest of the afternoon relaxing and taking care of a few odds and ends I’ve been letting slide.

Evening Tue Mar 24

On Sunday some friends from the office showed me some cool places near Bangalore. This meant I had to get up early, but I’ve been sleeping a bit better than before so it wasn’t too big a deal. Our first stop was Keshava Template in the city of Somanathapur. It was built in the 13th century(!) and has a ton of very intricate carvings around it.

After that we headed to Talkad where we saw a few more temples. (some of which had been buried in sand until around 10 years ago!) There was a lot of walking involved, and you can’t wear shoes around the temple, which becomes problematic when the ground has been baking in the 100 degree heat for hours. I think I avoided burning my feet, but only by judiciously running from shade area to other shade area. We also stopped by the Cauvery river which was quite crowded.

Our final stop for the day was a waterfall in Shivasamudra. It was pretty, but unfortunately there wasn’t a ton of water there since this is the dry season. But it was still nice to see 🙂

We ate dinner at an American restaurant that was also a microbrewery (Brewsky’s!)…unfortunately I was feeling pretty exhausted/somewhat dehydrated so I didn’t get a beer there.

I got back to the hotel at 10 PM and was just totally wiped out. Then I stayed up another hour fighting with plugs, which was quite frustrating. I almost threw something across the room, although I’m glad I didn’t…

Monday was a fine day – I slept in a little from being so exhausted, which was nice. After work I walked to a nearby all-day breakfast place and had waffles! With banana and chocolate! They were delicious!

Tuesday I gave a presentation at work, which went OK but was probably a little too in-depth for my audience. I spent the rest of the day working on slides for another presentation, but the cricket match between South Africa and New Zealand looked exciting so I camped out in the break room with my laptop for a while to work/watch. And what a game it was! New Zealand was chasing 298 runs in 43 overs (it was shortened from the normal 50 overs due to a rain delay…what’s weird is South Africa only actually scored 280 runs, but they adjusted it up to 297? I’m not sure how that works…) and they did it with literally one ball to spare – they needed 5 runs from 2 balls and hit a 6. It was crazy!

Tonight we had the usual meeting with Austin folks, which means I didn’t get back to the hotel until late so I just ordered room service, which was pretty good.

Evening Thu Mar 26

Yesterday was…fine. My stomach bothered me a lot of the afternoon, so that plus a 45 minute trip home downgraded my ambitious plans to walk to a far-awayish place for dinner to walking to a closer place. Which I did! I went to Mr. Beans, a cafe apparently popular with students, and it was pretty good.

Today was the semifinal match between Australia and India. Unfortunately, Australia scored 329 runs, which is a very good score, and India couldn’t keep up. It was a bit painful to watch by the end.

This evening I went out with a coworker for dinner where we ended up (mostly by coincidence) at the place I didn’t walk to last night! Tim Tai is an Asian place and it was quite good.

Tomorrow morning I leave for Delhi for Kanika’s wedding…and I do mean morning. My car leaves the hotel at 4:30 AM, so I’m headed to bed.

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