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Mark Moxon's Travel Writing

India: Bangalore

The Vidhana Soudha in Bangalore
The Vidhana Soudha in Bangalore, where bureaucrats believe that 'Government work is God's work'

Bangalore is the yuppie capital of India; certainly its streets are cleaner and its teeth brighter than any other Indian city. But despite the veneer of western capitalism, Bangalore remains a typically Indian place, proof perhaps that however hard the Cult of America tries, it will never conquer the second largest population mass in the world.

Bangalore High Court
The High Court in Bangalore
Bangalore Public Library
Bangalore's rather red Public Library

In the Buff

A sign saying 'Do not pass urine here'
A delightful sign outside the train station

But surely the biggest shock that awaited me in Bangalore was the availability of beef, or to be more precise, 'buff'. The cow might be sacred but the buffalo isn't, and perhaps a reason for the near lack of them in the city is that they're available in burgers, pizzas, steaks and stews; it's not that common, but there are restaurants serving buff, and I found myself drawn inexorably towards the smell of burnt bovine like a rat to the lilt of the Pied Piper. I didn't realise how much I missed the taste of beef until I tucked into a meal of buff soup and buff pizza at one of the best Euro-Indian restaurants I've seen for a while. Along with this luxury, beer is freely available and is drinkable in pleasant surroundings as opposed to the prisons of Tamil Nadu, and you can find such western icons as Wimpy and KFC dotted around (though there's no McDonald's, yet).

Busy Banglore traffic
Busy Banglore traffic

The Sights of Bangalore

A gum tree in Lalbagh Garden
A gum tree in pretty Lalbagh Garden

The sights of Bangalore aren't that numerous, but the ones that are worth a visit are pretty impressive. Government buildings dominate the wide, tree-lined boulevards, especially the bright red monstrosity of the High Court and the modern and highly stylish Vidhana Soudha, which is home to the Secretariat and State Legislature. Above the entrance to the latter is the inscription 'Government work is God's work', which might help to explain why government work involves so much bureaucracy and paperwork; the civil service is truly the home to the Holy Triplicate.