December 14th: A Motorcyle Crash

On Saturday I woke up and quickly woke up Mats. He and I did out morning workout. Mats and I are now doing Insanity rather seriously. He is an really good sportsman. Not that he is in spectacular shape, but that he isn’t afraid to encourage me. Even though I have been doing insanity for years, he still has to shout out at my laziness. I’m sure that the workouts will bond us well.

After the work out we went out to the local restaurant. As we exited our building right in front of us two motor scooters crashed into each other. The scene shocked me. One driver was a woman. She wasn’t hurt as much as she was in shock. Her first words were for her damaged laptop. Next to her a young man was laying in the road screaming and bleeding out of his mouth. We were the first people on the scene. I didn’t have an ambulance number or anything. A crowd formed around the people. They gave the man water. ((Totally wrong thing to do to someone in shock)). The man was helped off the road and he was left on the sidewalk. He sat on the side of the road bleeding out of his mouth and in shock. The cops drove by and slowly waved at everyone. They didn’t stop and they weren’t busy. I realized that the cops are super useless and corrupt. The crowd seemed to be caring for the man and the woman was ok. So Mats and I went onward to our restaurant.

The restaurant wasn’t serving food today, how Indian. So we tried to find another one. We walked further into the slum part of the slumburb.  We passed a place where men covered in gray dusty cement powder were sculpting gravestones. I thought that if my life had been a book that I was experiencing plenty of foreshadowing. We couldn’t find a restaurant so we retreated to cook at home. After brunch we had a lively conversation about how I believe that Europeans are jealous of American.

Mats went to the Girls’ Home and I stayed back to fix my resume and apply for a job in Bangalore. I don’t want the job as much as I want to the interview and the experience of visiting one of Bangalore’s Multi-National Corporations (MNC).

After that I went to Kamanahalli to visit with Shenelle’s family, which from now on I will call the La’Porte’s. I arrived outside of a coffee shop and sat down observing the wealthy customers. In India wealthy people wear T-shirts and sunglasses and poor people wear button-up shirts. In America all classes of people wear T-shirts and jeans. In Other countries rich people wear nice button-up shirts and poor people wear scrappy T-shirts. It’s curious to see how all over the world people juggle their status with clothing.

Waiting in front of the coffee shop I bought a begging girl an orange. When the orange vendor realized that the orange was for the girl she increased the price. I refused the price increase and pointed to the girl for pity. When I gave the girl the orange she didn’t seem happy. I later observed that the girl was working with the orange vendor. So the vendor had increased the price to make extra profit and eventually get that orange back for re-sale. A bit later on, I a bit saddened when a father with two children asked me for food for his children. Had I been alone I would have got him food, but since by then I was with Shenelle and her British cousin Michael. It was easier to refuse them. However, the man was intense and angry. Likely internally angry that he had to beg from some young light skinned people.

The three of us walked back to Shenelle’s grandma’s house. The area was having a power outage so we sat in the living room and talked over candlelight. We, seven of us, played cards at the dinner table over candlelight. It was a really nice experience.

The power came back on and we ate a huge dinner of spicy kebabs and wonderful Indian foods. I talked a lot with Micheal . He is a real a Londoner. He had a lot of questions about the US. I was also curious about his life as an Anglo-Indian in London.

After dinner, the family entertained themselves by listening to tipsy uncles singing Elvis with live guitar. They are a musical family. Shenelle was the first winner of Anglo-Indian Idol. They are a really cool family.

I helped them make bookmarks and spent the evening talking with Shenelle, Anka, Micheal, and their mutual friend Simrin. She was the first Sikh I met in India. She was super friendly and I am certain that she will reappear throughout the story. She is going to help me find a bus station on Friday. In Indian cities nothing is easy to find and maps become outdated in months because development is so fast. For example the area around my apartment was all dirt roads just last march when Mats was here last. Now they are paved roads with motorbike accidents.

I didn’t realize how much time had passed and soon it was midnight. They helped me arrange a taxi home. They all told me that it wasn’t safe to travel at this hour. I hadn’t realized that the hour of the night affects the safety of travel so much in India. They even worried about me taking a taxi. Taking a taxi in Bangalore is rare and expensive. They offered many times for me to stay over, but I didn’t want to Mats worry that I wouldn’t return. So I took a taxi back. I realized in the ride our desolate and disserted the city is that late.  The dust that the cars kick up settled and I could clearly see how empty things were. I decided that I would definitely accompany Rebecca to the airport when she leaves Bangalore via late night taxi. I was glad that I got to see how empty things are at night; otherwise I wouldn’t have decided to travel with her every step of the way.

TLDR: I totally love the La’Porte’s, their friends, and their super welcoming homes. I think Indian people are the warmest people I have ever met.

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