Good morning and happy belated Fourth of July (or Helen Keller day)! Work has been progressing well, and it’s hard to believe it’s July. This week I was able to eliminate a bug that had been really bothering me where button presses queued up while sound files played. I also learnt that if you touch open circuit boards, the electricity from your hand can send signals and get you weird behavior. Vivek tried to convince me that the device magically knew when I was using it and was deliberately malfunctioning. Thankfully, that only lasted about 10 minutes until our other ECE major, Aditya, took pity on me. But fun circuitry facts aside, you might be wondering how three Americans and five Indians would celebrate the Fourth of July in Bangalore…

Maggi, BBQ sauce, red white and blue kurtas, and firecrackers. We had been eyeing the barbeque sauce in the local grocery store for some time, but as an import, it was a little pricey, but yesterday we felt it was our patriotic duty to get some. The next challenge was what to put it on. Since we’re leaving for Madurai later today, we’ve been staving off grocery shopping, so the only logical solution was Maggi, a more heavily spiced, Indian variant of Ramen noodles. After eating our bizarre combination of Indian/American/poor-college-student cuisine, it was dark and time for fireworks—Before I go any further, I will preface this by noting that firecrackers are perfectly legal in India, and are shot off for cricket matches, weddings, birthdays, and Diwali. Oddly enough (to me anyways), they are much easier to obtain than SIM cards—The guards of our compound helped us find a safe spot to light them, and some of our neighbors came out to watch and chat.  Independence from the British is something both Indians and Americans can appreciate. Maddie, Avia, and I were all wearing our kurtas, which we had been wearing for Helen Keller day, and are coincidently red, white, and blue, so we felt sufficiently patriotic.

Happy 4th!

Happy 4th!

Another thing worth mentioning is that along with our fixation with Mafia, oversized checkers, and cards, our team has caught the Monopoly bug. Like a lot of things here, it is a strange blend of cultures in an unexpected place. The properties on the board are London properties, and the prices are in Rupees. The board is also yellow (strange, right?). The more amusing thing is that none of us had realized that monopoly was different by country, and had to spend a good fifteen minutes on Wikipedia to fully articulate all the differences (and to prove it was originally an American game). It’s things like these—BBQ sauce with Indian instant noodles and paying your monopoly debts with Rupees—that I really like about traveling. Little bits of home mixed with new experiences.

Indian Monopoly

Indian Monopoly



5 thoughts on “Happy Fourth From Bangalore!

  1. Thanks for the update Madeleine! Of course i have no idea what you are talking about in “geek speak” as Trevor used to call technical jargon, but can understand the multicultural flavor of an Independence Day well spent! I really enjoy reading of your adventures! 🙂

  2. What a team effort of celebrating the 4th and Helen Keller day— one you all will long remember! The red,white, and blue kurtac,fireworks,Indian noodles, and a game of international monopoly using rupees—-another fantastic day in India! A.Clute

  3. I am relishing every blog post…by everyone such fantastic writing about so many fascinating experiences…also loving all the excellent photos! Thanks so much for taking the time to do the blog…Sally

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