Friday, December 28, 2012


Our first day of hiring a car to drive us around went pretty well! The only little snag was that the cab company sent two cars and drivers. Clearly some wires crossed on their end- they even sent us texts about both, but we thought it was because the first driver wasn't going to work out after all. We only discovered that there were two drivers when we got in the first guy's car...and got a call from the second guy saying he was waiting for us. Ooops. Second guy didn't seem too pleased, but he didn't seem too put out, either. He also seemed to speak much more English, but at that point we were in the car so we just went with it. The driver we had got us where we wanted to go and back home pretty efficiently, so no complaints.

Wait, I take that back. One complaint. Due to crazy Bangalore traffic/driving and the fact that I've yet to ride in a car with functioning seat belts in the back, I got to practice a mom-move not seen in the States since I was a kid. I refer, of course, to the "my arm will stop you from flying through the windshield" arm flinging. I had the kids on either side of me, so I got to do it two handed!

At any rate, our driver was only a few minutes late (our address seems to confuse people- the second delivery guy from Big Basket called to tell me he was lost. Which was unfortunate, because not only could I not help him, we couldn't understand each other. Luckily he got here in the end), and we arrived at the Visvesvarya Industrial and Technical Museum about 30 minutes later. Our driver parked in front of the museum to wait for us.

Our first stop was the Dinosaur Corner. It contained one life-size, slightly mechanized dinosaur that roared at regular intervals. Liel did not care for this roaring monstrosity, oh no. But Zion liked it-- in fact, he later told us he thought it was the coolest thing he saw all day.

We went on to the Engine Hall, the Electrotechnic room, the Fun Science room, the Biotechnical Revolution (lots of genetic engineering stuff here) and the Space exhibit. The kids liked the Engine Hall best I think- lots of buttons to push and gears to turn.

Here's a cool, steampunk-y engine.

While we were in the Biotechnical Hall Liel decided she had to pee. This is somewhat unusual for her, as she detests most public bathrooms and can hold it practically forever. But, I took her off to the bathroom. When she saw that it was a hole in the ground (aka squat toilet) she eyed it rather unhappily. But, she did attempt to squat over it (I held her up to make sure she didn't slip). After a few seconds she announced that she couldn't pee and we left, me hoping she could hold it for a couple more hours, and feeling very grateful that our apartment has western style toilets!

There was a pretty sweet environmental conservation poster in the museum too. Here are some of my favorite bits.

After a couple of hours at the science museum we decided to head to the art museum that was close by. Our driver was asleep in the back of his car, so we decided to let him sleep and walk over to the museum, which was quite close.

There was some confusion about tickets and where to buy them, mainly because it turns out that the Venkatappa Art Gallery and the State Archeological Museum share tickets, and the ticket counter is at the State Archeological Museum. We hadn't planned to do all 3 museums in one day, but as it turns out that was an excellent idea, as the art and archeology museums were quite small (especially the art museum, which was really just a gallery of one guy's- Venkatappa- work. I'd read there was another gallery that had other art, but the upstairs was closed so if there was more we didn't see it.

The State Archeological Museum had some really cool art and artifacts, but virtually no information about them. Most are labeled with what the are ("arrowheads", "sword", "veena", "Mysore style"), and some have dates, but that's it. I would have loved more information! I'm sure they'd love to be better funded too. The tickets were less than half the cost of the science and tech museum next door...not sure why that was, other than that the archeology museum was smaller.

The building itself was pretty sweet- awesome red stone.

There was a cool outdoor walking area with some old stone sculptures.

My favorite part inside was a really amazing panel of paintings depicting different scenes from the Ramayana.

Here's Rama and Surpenaka.

And here's Ravana kidnapping Sita.

The museum also had a cool collection of instruments, including sitars and veena. I was especially delighted with the veena, because in Sita Sings the Blues, one of the shadow puppet commentators says that Ravana was so devoted to Shiva that he would play the veena for him with is intestines.


They also had some cool Ganesha statues



The Buddha

And even a plump pegasus!

I didn't take any pictures in the Venkatappa Gallery, but Robert did so you should check out his Facebook pics if you're interested (and friends with him). I did get one of the kids outside the gallery, however.

Don't they look pleased?

All in all, it was a lovely day! And I couldn't believe how cheap the entry fees were. We paid Rs 20 each to get into the science and tech museum, and a total of Rs 12 to get into the archeology museum and the art gallery. For those of you playing along at home, our entry into three museums was less than $2. Total. For all four of us.

The only moment of panic came after we'd been home for about 30 minutes, when Liel looked around and said, "Mama, where's Fluffy??"

I've rarely seen Robert move that fast. He was working in our room and came bolting out with a look of panic on his face (I'm sure there was one on mine, too). Liel was on the verge of tears (a howl had already escaped her lips). Zion looked up from the table where he was writing in his journal and said, "Fluffy is behind you, Mommy!".

Clearly that kind of fright calls for a gin and tonic. And since I now have both of those things (and limes!), I believe I shall have one.  Happy Friday!

1 comment:

Kristofer Young said...

What a gift that you would shutter snap and write so much to share w all of us!
Shouldn't Fluffy be attached by one of those wallet chains that would easily restrain a pit bull?
Love Dad