After five weeks in Europe, I’m now back in Bangalore under its monsoon skies!
My landlady has given me a full update on what I missed while I was away: “We had rain for a full week,” and: “One day last week we had a power cut that lasted six hours!” I certainly hadn’t missed the power cuts and I had had enough monsoon-like rain during my first two weeks in Belgium.
She wanted to know what the spanking brand-new Bangalore International Airport is like. “My friends told me it’s just like in Western countries!” Yes, Bangaloreans are proud of their new airport and it’s everything you would expect in an international airport, complete with designer shops and even an Illy café. The only problem is the distance… while the old airport was just an easy 10-minute drive away, it took me an hour to get to the new airport which is 35 kilometres away. The same journey could take 2 to 3 hours during daytime traffic.
Arriving in the middle of the night, I learned that the pre-paid taxi system has been replaced by a fleet of brand new air-conditioned ‘city cabs’ which run on metres. In no time we were speeding along the near-empty multi-lane road which had been specially-built to provide access to the new airport. I was wondering if I had somehow landed in Dubai instead, but soon the new road ended as we approached Bangalore city and the familiar beep-beep of road traffic woke me from my reverie and I realised that I was back in India after all!