The room we're staying in is all red and black décor, looking somewhat like a David Lynch movie. It does however have all mod cons, 24 hour hot water – unlike the "hot water provided in a bucket" solution of Agra – tell me why have a hot tap at all?? – and an endless procession of smiling men arriving at the door to supply things or take them away again.
We've gone for the laundry option here. If someone is willing to clean the jeans I've been wearing for the last two weeks for about 20p I'm all for it. You can even get you socks pressed for 5p – seems a little extravagant to me though.
Bangalore is supposed to be "India's most progressive city" whatever that means. Hopefully it means less shite on the streets at the very least.
I've noticed from some of the emails that I've been receiving re "shit happens" entry that I may be putting people off India. I say don't let me sway your opinion! It's just like Glastonbury only it's a continent! Anyway laundry here is cheap! In fact India is stupidly cheap in general. Here are some examples:
Current exchange rate 85 rupees to the pound:
Autorickshaw to airport (17KM) – R250
Chai or Coffee – R5 – R10
Average meal – R50
Fizzy drink – R20
Hot tasty lunch on the street R10
Budget room – R300 (with hot water and bathroom!)
Decent room – R1200
McDonalds chicken burger R20
Sleeper train journey – R350
To be honest the main problem with the money is you only get 500 rupee notes out of the cash machine and nobody has change. It's a constant battle to hang onto change to actually be able to buy anything. Giving a chai wallah (tea seller) a 500 rupee note would be like presenting buying a penny chew with a 50 pound note.