More about Bangalore and the food we have had thus far.
All the traffic lights in Bangalore are solar powered with a battery back up. At every traffic signal, there is also a timer that counts down to when the lights change. So often many motorists turn their engines off for 60-75 secs as the lights stay that long.
Many homes have water heated by solar power. The water tank at the roof has two compartments; one for cold water to be pumped up there, and another tank that is insulated well and has heating coils. The heater can be solar poweeed or switched to regular power during days when there is no sun. It is very effective and there was plenty of hot water for us and everyone else.
Food – We have certainly had a wide variety. In both the houses we have stayed, chapati (think of it as a whole wheat tortilla) is the staple carbohydrate. Everyone in these two families have reduced eating rice substantially. This is one big change I saw. Usually with food we had different curries served every day. One day we had potato curry, several days we had green bean curry I make in the States that many of you have tasted; I found that I could add carrots to it as well. We had a lot of curry using one of my very favorite vegetablrd Cayote squash. In my sister’s home they had a tree on the roof top and was yielding plenty of the vegetable. We also had vegetables that are not usually available in the US – bitter squash, s sqash that has a very thick skin and looks about the size of ordinary cucumber. My sister made a variety of mixes based on certain type of dal she roasts, mix with chillie poweder, coriander, and a mix of many species. They are very delicious. I will try to get a bottle when we return.
Almost every meal ends with yogurt, usually home made. What they do is heat up the yougurt and stop just before boiling, cool it and at the right temperature add culture. It is usualy ready afterwards in about 6-7 hours. She then refrigerates it.
We of course had sambar, soup like a stew, pilafs of various kinds. One day my sister fixed a angel spaghetti, home made from a machine my mother used to use 50 years ago. My mother used to do it a few times a year as this can be big production.
Coffee with milk and sugar is the first drink everyone has. Sometimes fruits are available in the eveing. We have been drinking bottled water or boiled water here to be on the safe side.
Jeannie is learning crocheting from my sister. My sister is an excellent teacher and ensures that Jeannie got it right after many tries. The young man Arjun would say to Jeannie “treble is trouble for you?”
Children work here very hard. My nephew keaves at 8:30 am and does not return until 4:15 pm. He then spends an hour playing what else cricket on the street with neighbors. Then he comes home and starts his homework that continues until 8:00 pm, eats, watches TV with others and goes to bed around 10 pm. He gets up around 6:15 am and does more homework or gets tested for an exam he may have by my sister. Everyone pays a lot of attentioon to his education, his parrents as well as my sister and her daughter Meera who also lives here.
People wander off by 9 am and this gives my sister a break for several hours until she starts lunch preparations.
We have been part of these activities for 3 weeks now and are now in the fourth week. In about 10 days or so, we will head north gradually, and work on Chennai and its beauty in early January because it is raining there now and hopefully it will let up by then. In addition, we want to be in Delhi before it gets too cold.
That is it for today. We traveled 350 kms from Bangalore in 6 hours and are ready to do a lot of sight seeing of an old ruins from an empire 500 years ago. We plan to have lot of pictures to be uploaded by Sunday into several albums.
Bye for now