This past Sunday morning I felt like we walked out the front door of our apartment and into the set of a Bollywood movie. The early morning air was pulsing with the beat of India street festival music. This was my second morning in India and I had assumed I would be hesitant and intimidated to walk the insanely hectic streets of Bangalore. As I walked up the narrow avenue towards the main street motorbikes were whizzing by me, some with young men holding infants, some piloted by boys who looked like they were not even old enough to shave yet. I danced to the side to avoid a giant mess of cow poo and then back to the left to deftly avoid a huge dead rat. I was a pro at walking on the street in this massive city in India!
Until I reached the main road. Than I froze.
Passenger cars and rickshaws were in a steady stream on the main road. Even though it was not even nine in the morning the traffic was a steady stream and here in Bangalore there are no crosswalks. You have to lung across this busy city road to reach shops, and in this case the Christian church on the other side.
I said a prayer on this Sunday morning as I waited for my boyfriend and his daughter to catch up with me. Day two in Bangalore and I know where our local market is located. I can find his sister’s house across the main street and I know where the church is located, but this mass of traffic is intimidating.
Yes, I may be thirty-six years old but I had to wait for my boyfriend to take my hand to cross the street.
Imagine trying to cross Sunset Boulevard in Los Angelus during rush hour and just running across the street like a mad woman. Yeah that is every day here in India. Except there are also cows.
After we deftly weaved our way across the street amid honking motorbikes and weaving rickshaws and also trying to avoid steaming piles of cow dung, I mentioned to my boyfriend,
“Um, that cow looks like it has a broken leg” He just shrugged. #Thatsjustindia
After he helped me cross the street like a small child we met his mom and we walked through the neighborhood towards church, while she mentioned to me,
“How light the traffic was this morning because everyone was in church” Wow, this is light traffic? As we approached their families church of the last twenty-five years the music in the morning air became even louder and I finally saw the source of the crazy loud music that seemed to permeate the air.
Outside the church there were giant loud speakers set up blaring Bollywood music. The music was so loud it almost drowned out the traffic noises behind us as we climbed the cold stone steps into the church. Once we were inside we found out today was a state holiday. That would explain the crazy loud music that continued until four in the morning, followed by fireworks and gunshots all evening.
But first there was a lovely Pentecostal church service. The worship music from the church choir actually drowned out the noise from the street below and I have to say this was one of the finest church services I have attended in years.
What a fantastic way to start our Sunday in Bangalore! Awesome regenerating church service and I survived the traffic and did not get run over by a disabled cow!