is as hot and steamy as Delhi was cool and dry!

It’s been a whirlwind to say the least!

Got in yesterday morning, met with the people picking me up without incident, yay!!!

And took a bumpy ride into the city.

People had told me that Bangalore airport is about 2 hours outside the city, so I was expecting empty fields and vast distances, but no, the city encroaches right up close to the edge of the airport, it’s just not the city centre.

I’m staying at the Bangalore Club hotel, and it was established during the British Raj, and hasn’t let go of its colonial feel!

Oh my! From the way the stucco is painted a light blue to the Jacarunda tree (labeled as such) and the weapons mounted on the wall, battle axes and spears, and the heads of long dead animals.

The ‘gent’s’ cloak room, and the men’s bar, and the sign that says when billiards are to be played in the billiard room…

It’s like stepping into a time warp.

Someone well versed in the history of Bangalore told me that Bangalore Club has a very famous defaulter, a guy who stiffed them for his tab, and apparently it turns out to be Winston Churchill!

Had to smile at at that, and then I thought of the Islamic tradition that anyone leaving a debt will not have the prayers that people pray for them listened to until that debt is cleared.

Last night I did a sort of meet and greet event with Bookalore, a group of avid book lovers at this independent library called Hippocampus here in Bangalore.

I got up and talked about my journey, bringing special focus to Wanting Mor, the whole reason I’m here!

And it was fascinating because when they were introducing me, they mentioned how Duckbill, my Indian publisher, is sponsoring the event, but I made sure to mention that the Canada Arts Council also did their part by paying for me to come here through a travel grant.

Let’s just say that for a whole hour or more, can’t remember exactly how long I ran on at the mouth, I had this group of about sixty people listening attentively.

In the whole crowd there was only one white woman. And during most of the time, she sat towards the back with her mouth hanging slightly open and a horrified look on her face.

I was wondering if it was something I had done.

Then I realized she was responding to the incidents of racism I was talking about.

The other Indians in the crowd were quite jocular. They were laughing at all the right bits, right along with me, and when I got to the funniest parts, where I was dealling with the two bullies that tormented me during middle school, instead of laughing along, this poor lady looked even more horrified.

She didn’t leave though.

She stayed till the end. And there were definitely times when she stopped looking horrified and was even smiling, but somehow it bothers me that I didn’t get her laughing.

Oh well, can’t get everyone.

I never did get to speak to her, she left without talking to me.

I would have liked to ask her how she felt about the presentation.

Afterwards I was taken to dinner to a positively sumptuous restaurant.

Omigosh, did I rave about the food in Delhi???

The food here is just as good if not better.

Not sure.

It was just so yummy!

The restaurant was super fancy, with beautiful copper plates underneath our dinner plates and even the menu was a work of art, including full color portraits of Moghul emperors and Indian nobility!

I ate way too much!

And then when dessert was mentioned, I couldn’t resist.

And the conversation was even more spectacular.

One of the party was an amazing historian–ooh love history!!!

And I picked his brain for details of Indian history.

All in all a fabulous evening!

I even got a hot shower!!!

First one since I got here!

Tomorrow morning I leave bright and early to go back to Delhi.

Over and out.