....as my first full week came to a close and I headed into the weekend. Couldn't have wished for a nicer start to my time in India. Enjoying the daily attempts to find my feet!
Here are a few things I've experienced or seen so far...
Getting around: My sense of direction is appalling at the best of times. Especially here. Bangalore is a mix of blocks, phases and layouts. I continue to be baffled. Who needs road names? I do! People tend to use landmarks...mght invent my own. The shoe shop. The bangle stall. Iced coffee stall. Yeah, that could work.
Auto rickshaws. Fast (if not stuck in traffic - I will never moan about UK traffice again. Ever). Dirt cheap but you can also arrive feeling slightly dirty and coated in exhaust fumes. A scarf you can wear as a mask and not purely for stylish reasons is a must.
You get approached by quite a few beggars when stuck in traffic. Not nice to see people who are so poor (and some with terrible physical disabilities) trying to navigate their way dangerously amongst the traffic. Also seen quite a few young transvestites begging, think they're called chiki chiki or something similar. They took to calling me the "white doll" a as translated by my colleague. Thought they were calling me something far worse!
Work: It's early days in the new job and heaps to do. But I feel happily invigorated, motivated and excited. Hurray!
People I speak to outside of work seem interested in what I'm going to be trying to do. Hopefully this bodes well. Already received approaches to see if I'm interested in other roles out here. The power of Linked In!
Kindness: From my new colleagues who've provided lots of advice (even removing not-so-small Mr Cockroach from my food bag...eugh) to the random families, school children and strangers who've stopped to chat or have gone out of their way to help with so many things.
New friends: Attended a few events and joined various groups this week. Met some fabulous people who've made me feel so incredibly welcome and are helping me out with support in finding a place to live or are inviting me to various events and trips. Diary is filling up already....
Need some holiday? Well, consider becoming a civil servant in Bangalore. A contact I met said they receive 150 days public holidays a year PLUS annual leave. Can that really be true? And if a holiday falls on a Thursday, don't worry about going in on a Friday. Fair enough!
A city of treats....whilst finding somewhere to live is a priority, I obviously had to check out the shopping situation. Supporting the local economy is important :-) So what have I discovered...
I am a magpie with the jewellery stalls. My glass bangle collection is taking shape. Beautiful bags of mixed flowers and roses for 40p, delicious food stalls, a particular delight is the 14p samosa. I seem to be eating my way through the fruit supply of Bangalore. Like a fruit bat (not an old bat!). Can't get enough of the fruit and the mango season is just around the corner when the city literally smells of mangoes....(sp). I like the sound of that. Bring on the mangoes!