We left the mountains, and have entered the plains once again… Our stay at Sholai School seemed almost like a holiday, in a beautiful quiet and natural setting. The last couple of days at Sholai, Petter and myself were not feeling so well, we caught a bit of a flu virus on the way, which slowly went around. James felt rather unwell for a day or two, then I got it and was sick for three days, then Petter got a mild version for a day or so. Luckily Murali was there to take the boys on walks and they even spend a day learning about the cheese the school makes in it’s own dairy. The last day, just before we left, they climbed up a waterfall nearby the school, which feeds the river going through the Sholai land. And especially for Philip, this was a gratifying experience.
The bus ride back to Bangalore awoke us somewhat cruelly to a completely different reality again. We left at 7 in the evening on an overnight semi-sleeper. The first part, going down the mountains, left half the bus feeling terribly carsick and vomiting. My theory is that they ate too much before getting on the bus. And yet, when we stopped after three hours or so to take a dinner break, most people got of the bus, emptied their bowels once more and then happily went in to the restaurant to fill themselves up again with food before getting on for the next part of the journey. Sorry folks, don’t mean to ruin your appetite or enjoyment of this blog! But I sure felt glad we had decided not to have any dinner before getting on the bus, because a trip like that is much more bearable on an empty stomach. We arrived in Bangalore at 4.30 in the morning, took another bus to the central bus station and then another one from there to our B&B where we would stay for one night. The place was in a gated community on the edge of the centre. We arrived there at 7am and stepped right from one extreme in to another. The streets of Bangalore are hot, full of people, cattle and traffic. There is an overwhelming sense of chaos and pollution and there is garbage everywhere. People are selling their merchandise on any empty spot they can find, it is colourful, full of life and constant activity. The gated community however, was clean, quiet, upper middle class, with it’s own little shopping centre and offices, a bank and post office. There were playgrounds for the children, a gym and several cafe’s and restaurants as well as parks. When you entered through the gates, it was as if the air-conditioning got turned on, there was a constant and refreshing breeze and if you wanted, you could stay within this gated community without ever really having to venture in to the chaos of the city.
We decided to explore the world of malls for the day. If only to do something completely different form what we had done so far on this trip. Our first stop was Phoenix mall, supposedly the biggest, newest and most westernised mall of Bangalore currently available. It happened to be right around the corner of the gated community we were staying in. We had high expectations of the place but it was exhausting more than anything… But we were still ready for more and decided to go to the Hobbit in 3D in another mall that evening, and before that have dinner in an organic restaurant near by. So, in to the auto-riksha and off we went again. It was the first time we went to a restaurant since arriving in India and there was so much choice on the menu we were completely overwhelmed. But how exciting it was to have salads! And big ones at that too. The movie was good but rather painful to watch. I would definitely not recommend you watching any low quality 3D shows. We all ended up with red eyes and sore nose bridges. But hey, we went to the movie theatre in India!
The next day we had to part with Alby. His family had planned a trip to Kenia, so he has flown straight from Bangalore there. It was lovely to have him with us for two and a half weeks!
And no we are at the Valley School. It is tranquil again. About 17km outside of the city in a huge forested area. Rupert, a former Brockwood staff is now a teacher here and he has taken us on for the 4 days that we are here. Great!
And the guys say: Hello! We are sunburned in December, and itchy from mosquito bites! Also they hope there is fruit for supper.
Will write more soon!