A Break in Bangalore

November 14th, 2011 · Lisa · Travel · Comments
When I used to travel for work, people would often ask “What is X city like?” and the only honest response I could give was, “The meetings rooms look pretty much the same in hotels and conference centres everywhere”. If you had asked me Friday night what I thought of Bangalore, I would have said “Well, there is this one organic vegetarian restaurant that I can’t seem to get enough of…”After prepping Thursday night and all day Friday I was starting to lose my enthusiasm for pitting dates and soaking cashews.

Don’t get me wrong, when the crowd comes in ready to learn and yearning to eat, I get excited. On Friday night the attendees had great questions, boosted my ego with their appetites, and stayed late talking about food, veganism and India.
But by Saturday, I was ready to take off my apron and see some of the city. Millie, a fantastic friend of Nandita’s came to my aid. She and Archie (another amazing woman!) had already worked tirelessly to help ensure the success of Friday’s food demo – but then transformed into an incredible tour guide, ready to show me the sites.
I arrived at her home, greeted by a fresh glass of passionfruit juice and the warm embrace of family. Millie  embodies the generous hospitality India is known for. After a quick visit, we were on the road. Millie filled me in on Bangalore’s history and the challenges of sudden growth. We careened through chaotic streets of motorcycles, tiny taxis and huge commuter buses toward my destination of choice: the market.
Russell Market is in a Muslim area of the city. I enjoyed watching the architecture and apparel change as we moved from one neighbourhood to the next.  Bangalore’s city skyline boasts plenty of both the colourful statues of Hindu gods and the rounded domes of Muslim mosques.

Outside the market, vendors display their wares: lemons (that look like limes), pomegranates and sapote.

Inside I found vegetables both familiar and foreign and reveled in the aroma of curry leaves and cilantro.

The atmosphere is light and there are smiles everywhere. The man in the top right tried to entice me to buy his snake gourd. He laughed with his friends as they made it slither like a snake. I giggled but didn’t fancy finding a way to enjoy a 5 foot gourd in my hotel room.

After the market, we went off to Commercial Street for some shopping. I avoided the chain stores that clutter our malls at home and instead tried on kurta’s in FabIndia. No finds this time – but my carry-on bag limits any purchases to those I just can’t live without. Millie and I then made our way to a North Indian-style vegetarian restaurant for roti, channa and spicy mushroom curry.

Feeling refreshed and full of gratitude I returned to the restaurant for a little more prep and then to my hotel room to pack up again. Sunday morning, we were up early prepping for a morning food demo. The crowd was eager, arriving early and staying late. I enjoyed their energy and felt fabulous as they filled their plates with our raw feast.

Nandita and I said good bye to our two wonderful hosts at In The Pink 

and a huge thank you to the chef who chopped, sliced and juiced everything we asked for all weekend long.

We rushed to the airport and made it to the gate with just 15 minutes to spare. The hour flight delivered me from the busy streets of Bangalore to a lush, green, glorious Goa. It is bliss here!

Despite getting a little taste of paradise, I won’t let the life of leisure get to me. I have three food demos and a talk to present while I’m staying at SwaSara. What can I say, this is the life of a Vegan Crusader  (Check out this amazing article in Daily News & Analysis India)

Hoping you’re all well and striving today to push yourself to live your passions. You never know where it will take you.


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