Today was mind blowing.
As the hotels in Banglore tend to run on a 24 hour basis (if you arrive at 8am, you must check out at 8am), we were out early on a Sunday morning wondering how we were going to kill the time. Our bus wasn’t leaving until 9pm and everything was closed. While walking around looking for a restaurant we came to a corner and discussed which way we should walk.
Unexpectedly, a pleasant Indian man, with a well-educated English accent approached us and asked if we were lost. When we explained that we were looking for somewhere to get breakfast, he pondered for a moment before telling us to follow him. In his running tracksuit, he lead us to a posh hotel, and we followed him inside to the restaurant where an extravagant, colourful all-you-can-eat buffet was displayed, taking over three-quarters of the room. He turned to the waiters, and exclaimed, “they’re my guests” and we were then taken to sit outside in a secluded terrace surrounded by trees. As we spoke to this generous stranger, he decided to sit with us for a while and introduced himself as Jacob. What an incredibly intelligent and interesting guy he was. He knew everything about everything, everyone and everywhere and had a million stories to tell from around the world.
He proceeded to tell us he is a doctor, and used to work in England. Of course I asked where in England to which he responded, “Yorkshire”. Surprised and interested – being from Yorkshire myself – I of course asked where in Yorkshire. “A small city called Hull”. Being from Hull, I was incredibly shocked to have met a man in India, who worked in my small city, barely known to people around England, let alone India. I pressed him further. “Near Beverley”. This was insane! What are the odds of meeting a man in India, who worked right next to where I live in England!? With a little more pressing, I found out he worked in the same hospital as my Nan at the same time as her!! I couldn’t believe it.
Leaving us to enjoy breakfast alone, he went home to visit his ill father and to change his clothes, though said he’d be back soon. The food was out of this world, a huge variety, the best we’d eaten in months. We did worry a little at how much this was all going to cost he cost as we had only expected to pay a couple of dollars when we wandered the streets earlier in the morning. However, when Jacob returned, we learnt he had already paid for our food, and then insisted on showing us around Bangalore properly.
He drove us all around the city taking us to all the famous landmarks and monuments, before showing us around Cubbon Park where many famous British Royal statues boldly stand. On our walk jacob continued to educate us of India’s history – and Britain’s, of which I knew nothing about. We proceeded to follow him back to his car where he handed Brendan a polo shirt to put on. Under instructions, Brendan put it on and Jacob lead us into his posh Gentleman’s club where he bought us beers and introduced us to his wealthy Indian friends.
Jacob then received a phone call. When he hung up, he said he was “going to have to leave soon” as he had a lunch meeting with “The Colonel”… “Hey, you should come with me”, he said… So we did.
The next thing we knew we were being driven around and found ourselves sat with a colonel and his family, who were all so humble and welcoming, embracing both myself and Brendan with a strong hug, happy to have us as their guests. They were all very well spoken and clearly very privileged. After food and a few beers, Jacob took us back to our hotel where we said our goodbyes.
We started our day not knowing how we were going to kill time today, to find ourselves being treated to breakfast in a posh hotel by an Indian doctor who worked in Beverley/Hull in England, in a hospital, with my grandmother, and drove us around Banglore, took us to his Gentleman’s club, and took us to the colonel’s house for dinner.
Wow. Just, wow.