Originally Posted on August 12th, 2010.
Since I have arrived here, I have obtained an insatiable need to walk everyday. At first it was a required 30 minutes to burn off excess energy, and later it developed into a daily quest of several hours. Everyday I want to go a little bit further despite that walking the streets in Bangalore is not something one would deem pleasant. There are no easily to tread streets here, you're lucky to have any walking spaces at all even it if is a sidewalk flanked with inurmera obstacles. Often I am walking within a foots distance from the steady traffic, and many times have gotten close to contact with something. The air pollution on the busy streets is horrible, chocking chemical ridden air permeates everything. Those who sit in autos or ride bikes practically suffocate waiting at the lights. There is no pedestrian right away here, you cross the streets like an animal on the highway. Garbage is accumulated in many areas, the amount of walking hazards are ridiculous, the noise from traffic and incessant honking is deafening, poverty is everywhere, and I never cease to feel like the albino outsider. The smells that accrue in most places contrast each other wildly. It most often is the smell of cow or dog shit, rotting garbage, and putrid smoke. If you are lucky, you find the cultural fragrances: jasmine flowers, quality incense, or home cooked Indian food. Overwhelming best describes the experience, but I also find a certain obsession with having to trek my way from one point to another. I have grown accustom to the constant assault on my senses, the sore feet, and the unrelieved headaches. And don't get me wrong, it is an excellent workout to voyage through these merciless streets.
In India, the buzz of the city is ever present and that beat of America is forgotten. Bangalore is unlike anything you would ever experience in America. In fact, it is the opposite.