After a short (half-day) train ride we arrived in Bangalore. As many Indian cities it looks a lot bigger in reality (and from a bus window crawling through stand still traffic) than on the map. Our hosts were two young guys working for Samsung’s IT department. Their apartment is in a little complex surrounded by a wall and guarded with security like we found them all over India. While waiting at the gate for them to arrive a neighbour chatted us up and as he also happened to be on couchsurfing and had travelled in Europe for business in the past he invited us over for dinner (and beer :p) the following evening. People are very friendly in India. The personal space is smaller, there might be a group of 5 guys staring at you at any given time, but no aggression or frowny faces like in the west.
We sat down in the evening and planned our onward travel. In India chances to get a train ticket go to zero if you haven’t bought them at least a week ahead of time. Well, cheap sleeper tickets that is – the most common way to travel (1000km approx. 10 USD). We found tickets online, but as we don’t hold an Indian Visa cannot book them through the Indian Railroads website. At the station next day they were sold out so what to do? Changing directions once again. Skipping Goa, heading North to the flintstone town of Hampi instead in a sleeper bus, which costs about triple than a train. Sleeper buses are something I hadn’t seen before. They have little 2 or 1 person cabins (bit short as any bed in India) and are quite comfy otherwise. Unfortunately the practice of installing “speed breakers” (also referred to as car breakers) prevents actual sleep 🙂