Monday, June 13, 2005

i need a home

i'm tired of paying 920 rupees a day for my hotel. i'd like to find a real place quickly. but accomodation can be tricky in bangalore. very little is available centrally. yet traffic to the outskirts is terrible, as the city has grown much faster than the roads can accomodate. many of my co-workers spend 1-2 hours a day commuting, and that's often using nimble motorbikes. i call V, who the day before kindly offered to show me the place he stays, a long term guesthouse. i think i am supposed to meet him at footworld, which i can't find, so foodworld will have to do. he shows up. we climb into an auto rickshaw for the smoggy 25 minute ride.

the place is pretty much just a hotel room with a bit of furniture. it's 7000 a month, or 8000 for the "luxury" room, which just adds a little space for a tiny table and chairs. tv & fridge are in a common area. maid service is included. figure on 3500 a day in auto-rickshaw costs and we're suddenly talking 11 thousand a month or so (under $300), plus all that time on the road. i think i can probably do better. there was a lot of confusion on the particulars, as the manager wanted to conduct all business through velario as he doesn't know me yet. i found this off-putting.

after, we go into a ramdom red velvety loungy place for a drink. i want to try something other than the kingfisher so i get a jaguar, which the bottle says is a "winey beer". sure enough, it is a mix of beer and wine. weird. weirder still is the plate of raw onions and cucumber we are brought to snack on. after we find some dinner, and i flag down an auto rickshaw to go home.

shortly into the ride the auto-rickshaw driver says, "it's after 9pm, so you pay 1 1/2 times meter". "what?" i say with a look of surprise and mistrust. "you can ask at your hotel when we get there," he retorts. i agree.

i call his bluff. i ask at my hotel, and the guy at the front desk says, no, it's after 10pm that the extra charge kicks in. i pay the driver the meter rate and he's pretty pissed off. this convinces me that finding a place within walking distance to the office will be worth paying a hefty premium.

1 comment:

emphatican said...

Stupid taxi drivers. One time in Hong Kong, I'm pretty sure I got a driver who "forgot" to reset the meter when I got in. I didn't figure it out until I left the taxi, damn me.