1. For auto-rickshaw drivers who, without any argument, turn on the meter when you get into the auto.
This is a pet-peeve of mine. In Bangalore, the meter is supposed to be started (cranked) when you get into the auto, however, most often you find yourself negotiating a price with the driver before getting in. This wouldn’t be so bad if they charged a fair price. Unfortunately, that is not the case. So as a goodwill gesture, I make it a point to drop a few extra rupees into my fare every time a driver starts the meter without trying to demand anything (this does happen!).
2. A perfectly crafted Masala Dosa
When I arrive in India, I almost always make it a point to have a masala dosa (crispy rice crepe served with coconut chutney and sambhar) for my first meal. Similarly, my last meal before I board the plane back to the US, is also a masala dosa. India’s national dish, when prepared correctly, has few competitors that can match it for sheer brilliance and sumptuous taste.
3. Finding parking right near where you need to go
Having a motorcycle is wonderful! However, finding parking in a city of over 9 million people can be a challenge (as any city-dweller will tell you). Needless to say, when I park the Thunderbird, I am always happy to exhale a huge sigh of relief!
4. A cell phone that has balance
When Indians talk about a phone that has balance, they are not referring to the center of gravity on their latest smart phones. They are usually referring to the amount of money (currency) left on the account. Most use a “pre-pay” system that lets you use the phone for phone calls/text/web/etc., and much like the auto-rickshaw keeps track of how much you are spending. When your balance hits “0”, your phone stops working. Not fun in a crunch!
5. Chilled fresh lime soda on a hot day
If you come to India, you will quickly realize that you will require various ways to “cool off” and inevitably, you’ll be led to the wonderful glass of fresh lime soda that will not only refresh you, but will restore your coolness quotient!
6. Empty tree lined roads
I long for these because they bring back childhood memories of life in Bangalore. This hub for information-technology and the fashion industry was once a sleepy pensioner’s paradise. As the concrete jungle grew, the tree lines receded. So when I hit a stretch of road that is covered by green foliage, it makes my heart glad.
7. Two way streets
As mentioned above, Bangalore is no longer the sleepy little city of India. This burgeoning metro continues to grow so fast that it’s infrastructure has struggled to keep up. As a result, to combat the increased traffic, most of the streets have now been turned into one-way streets. Not only does this make life more confusing, but it really makes two-way streets seem like an oasis!
8. Sandals and linen pants in February…
My people in the mid-western part of the USA can appreciate what this means. I have always been built to handle heat… the cold weather is not for me!
I am sure I’ll think of more in the days to come… enjoy your day!