Lovely Surprises

Zahra and Vimal at The Local

There is nothing more lovely in my opinion than receiving a surprise visitor. It is a joy to the heart that friends make the effort to come and visit us and even more so when it is a surprise. 

Our surprise visitor

On Friday morning I was on my way to meet a friend (a relief to able to get out of the house after suffering with Bangalore Belly for over a week) when I received a call from Vimal, our friend in Goa. “How do I get to you?” he said, “I’m in Bangalore!”. Wow! How cool! After quickly establishing his whereabouts we drove to collect him. I ran and gave him a big hug – it was so lovely to see him. It’s been 6 months since we last saw him in Goa, not long after we arrived in India. 

Coffee and chat

As I was on my way to meet a friend, Lynn, for coffee I quickly WhatsApp her to let her know I would be bringing along a guest. Mantri Mall was on our way too so no diversion needed. We met in Starbucks and settled down to coffee and chat, catching up. It was so lovely and something I would do back in the UK; it felt so ‘normal’ and reminded me of home. After 2 hours of drinking coffee and chatting the reality of travel and traffic in Bangalore brought our lovely gathering to a close. Lynn had to head back to Whitefield – a 2 hour trek, and I had to head back to Yelahanka, at least an hour away. Neither destination is that far in Kms but the traffic is horrendous.

School pick up

After showing Vimal around the house and where everything was we set off to Stonehill International School to pick up Zahra. I waited in the usual place and Vimal hid around the corner out of sight. Zahra eventually meandered over with her bags and immediately started chatting about her day. Then Vimal appeared and asked her a question. I wished I had thought to video the moment – the look of surprised delight on her face was priceless. She ran over to Vimal and gave him a huge hug. Lots of excitedly asked questions followed as we walked back to the car and for the journey back to the house.

Work pick up

After dropping off school stuff at home, and time for a quick change, we headed over to Manyatta Tech Park to pick up Rez from work. The traffic is now getting worse as it’s Friday evening commuter time – so the journey took a while. Eventually we did reach Manyatta. Again Vimal hopped out of the car and hid around the corner. Zahra got out to greet daddy as he exited work. Rez appears and Zahra runs to give him a cuddle, then Vimal strolls over from his hiding place and greets Rez. Again the look of surprise was wonderful. Big smiles and and hugs and the usual “What are you doing here?” questions. It was lovely.

Drinks and Dinner at The Local

We had already planned to go out that evening to Matt’s favourite bar called “The Local” so Vimal joined us in our plans. Now The Local is a bar on the third floor of a shopping ‘street’ (use the word ‘street’ in its widest definition when it comes to Bangalore) accessed vis a lift outside around the corner. You can already guess it took us a ‘few minutes’ to find it! We sat in the covered open air section as it was too hot inside. It was the right choice as it rained during the evening and cooled the air. Matt (and Julie – over for a week from the UK to help recruit) joined us after they had finished interviewing for the day. 

We had a lovely evening eating, drinking, chatting and swapping stories listening to the 80s music the bar was playing. It was a wonderful evening with friends. We didn’t make it a late one as Zahra was with us and Vimal hadn’t stopped all day (after travelling all night) so we headed home happy and tired around 10:30pm. What a fabulous start to the weekend.

A lovely surprise visit from a friend – it’s what makes life wonderful.

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