Day 15 – Saturday 8/13
After working for a couple of hours we went down to Elliot’s Beach for lunch. Surprisingly we found a place that served red meat so we decided to try it out. Following lunch, we walked around the area for a while and saw a lot of the same things that they had at the previous beach we visited. They did have a couple huge Christian churches though. Then, Ningli and I met up with Abi. She took us to another handicrafts store and to Spencer’s Plaza. Spencer’s is similar to a mall but there are people standing outside their shops trying to get you inside and you can also barter for the price that you want.
Day 16 – Sunday 8/14
It was really nice and quite today. We walked over to Ascendas to get some dinner and it was so nice out that we decided to walk around the area a bit after dinner. There were a ton of cows near here compared to the streets we normally walk through. We came across a temple with a bunch of people outside of it. They were decorating carts with flowers, which I assume was for Independence day (the following day).
Day 17 – Monday 8/15
Today we headed to Mahabalipuram, which was a little beach town South of Chennai. There was an interesting temple close to the beach that we walked through. A couple blocks from the temple was a rock park that had all sorts of temples carved into the side of huge rocks. Tons of people were trying to sell us postcards and carved stones around here as well. To and from this town we took the AC bus. The traffic was incredibly bad both ways.
Day 18 – Tuesday 8/16
After collecting a couple sets of data in the lab, we booked our hotel for Bangalore. We were able to get a couple rooms at the Lemon Tree Hotel, which was conveniently located near the city’s center. Around 5 o’clock we tried to grab some dinner. We tried two places that we had been previously but neither of them were open. So, we ended up going to this place that seemed open from the outside. Once we got in and sat down however, we discovered that the majority of the items on the menu weren’t served until seven.
Day 19 – Wednesday 8/17
We went into the lab for a couple of hours before heading to the train station for Bangalore. Traveling by train was really nice. We didn’t have to show up two hours early like you have to do at the airport and they served us a ton of food on the train. It seemed like the food was nonstop. It just kept coming and coming. Further, our lives were made a lot easier by the prepay taxis outside the train station in Bangalore. They were fairly organized and had specific prices already in place for many locations in the city.
Day 20 – Thursday 8/18
The focus of the day was touring GE’s facilities in Whitefield (just outside Bangalore). Everything was incredibly nice. Their labs had every possible piece of equipment that you could dream of. The campus was pristine with palm trees and flowers everywhere. Their food court was also very cool. It was an open-air cafeteria in the middle of the campus with a tent-like roof on it. Traffic to and from here though was insane. It took us 2 hours to go less than 20 kilometers.
Day 21 – Friday 8/19
Today we checked out the city of Bangalore itself. We took a rickshaw to the Botanic Gardens. Then we got another rickshaw to take us to the Bangalore Palace. The driver also decided to take us to a few other places along the way. We stopped at the parliament buildings to get a couple of pictures. He took us to two handicraft stores but told us not to buy anything. He said it was too expensive and he just needed us to look around for 5 minutes so he could get some commission. When we got to the Bangalore Palace, it was 350 rupees to get in and 600 if you wanted to take pictures. So we left and headed to the central shopping area of the city. Here we got dinner and checked out a few stores.