I have seen great parks in the US, Canada and even Paris' grand parks, but even with it's decrepit walkways and obvious lack of care taking, Lalbagh Garden is bad ass! Approximately 260 acres of tropical wonder with great examples of plants and trees from around India and Asia. They even have an amazing Glass House that is based off England's Crystal Palace.
With so much to see around you, it can be easy to forget just how rundown the place is, which makes me wonder- WTF do they do with the 10 rupees per person that they collect? Does it go to the neon plastic whistle blowing, giant wooden nightstick wielding, park security? To the water bill? All I know is that it sure as hell doesn't look like it's being put back into park upkeep!
After walking around the park and getting stared at quite obviously for a while (I guess 6'3" 220+ guys with armloads of tattoos aren't very common in Bangalore) I decided to leave the sanctuary of the park and headed back into the stench of belching autorickshaws (or "autos" as the locals call them), mini delivery truck contraptions and 100cc motorbikes and get freshened up back at the hotel.
If you're just catching up here, let me say this again...ONLY USE AUTOS WITH METERS!!! Or you will inevitably deal with something that goes like this:
Driver: Where you go sir
Rider: Leela Palace Hotel
Driver: How much you pay sir
Rider (remembering that he dropped 250rs last time and knows he got ripped off): 200 rupee
Driver: OK sir lets go
What sounds like a straight ahead transaction, can quickly turn into "I have kids, let me take you to this shop where they give me 1L petrol voucher, you don't have to buy", which you repeatedly tell driver to piss off or even better yet, when you actually get to hotel, driver will try to hustle you out of even more, trying to say that distance is longer 1 way than the other.
Consider this- you can actually get a driver for the DAY for somewhere around 1000-1500 rupee or an "expensive" cab charges ~250 rupee flat rate to take you anywhere in the city and you can usually pay them to wait for you as well...
So all in, I dropped 500rs on 2 autos for what should have been roughly a 150rs MAX round trip. Lesson learned!
Now it's time to freshen up and go have a MUCH needed drink- the only question is, WHERE?