Phew. Am back in Bangalore. Feels good to be back.
I had started to miss the typical Bengaluru stuff. Like gaadi chaat :-D
I used to love eating chaat at the roadside pushcart vendors. The pani-puris and masala puris. Yumm. Mouth-watering. I need to get my fix of chaat soon.
Also was missing the anarchy on the roads. Took out my car to office and bam, there is no escaping the helter skelter flow of vehicles. It just hits you square. No let up. Though, I felt it wasn't too bad from the time I left. Only thing is that number of vehicles has increased. And with it, so has the number of bad drivers (who should not be allowed to operate a Hot Wheels car, let alone a full blown Tata Indica!)
The travel back was pretty uneventful except for a few stray pain points. Had to pay a fine for excess baggage. Can't believe chocolates can weigh that much! But didn;t want to dump any stuff back there so just paid the $50 fine and got on with it.
Took the Delta+Air France flight from Memphis-Atlanta-Paris-Bangalore. I had read too much about the irritations in Paris airport but was lucky to not encounter any problems. I had anyways learnt a little French to help me cope - "Parlez vous Anglais? Si. Merci." :-D Reminds me of the "Kannada gothilla" line alien people soon learn out here in Bangalore.
The funny thing was the Delta flight between Atlanta and Paris had a good collection of Hindi movies. I wondered if there was a sizeable desi population that traveled on that route. The movies included Partner, Shootout at..., Life in a Metro. I watched Life... on that leg along with Shrek3 and Knocked Up.
Life in a Metro is a definite recommendation. Very nice character definitions and portrayal by all the actors, except Shilpa Shetty. She just shrieked her way through the movie. Which was all the more irritating that she was given huge poster space on the movie sleeve cover.
Shiney Ahuja, Konkona, Irrfan(who was the best, according to me). Kangna Ranaut was good in patches. She was good as long as she didn't have to speak a lot. Her voice just grates on my nerves.Something like scratching a nail on a blackboard. Awfully irritating.
Food on the plane was good as was the wine and champagne. On the Paris-Bangalore leg, I got the aisle seat on the 4-seater central line, and the 2 seats next to me were empty. So had a nice stretchy time. Slept most of the flight. Post landing at Bangalore was another crazy time. 3 international flights landed at the same time and there was a line at the security check that was as long as the queue for a FDFS of an SRK movie! There was just one security screening counter and the line almost reached past the immigration check counter. And then the baggage. It was a mad rush with people pushing trolleys all over the place searching for the baggage.
My baggage took more than an hour to find it's way onto the baggage carousel. Finally wound my way out of all the commotion and came out of the airport to find my parents waiting patiently near the gate.
Finally dumped all the stuff in the car and was back on the potholes, humps and pits that were waiting for me with arms wide open. Some things never change :)