Sunday, December 13, 2009

Walking to the A.T.M.

I did my usual trip to the ATM this morning. I've never liked standing in line at those machines and in the U.S. did my banking in the wee hours of the morning whenever I could (real convenient back when I walked past them on my way to to work at 3am).

Nowadays, it depends on how soon Leena needs the cash. If she needs it right away we'll go after work some evening, or on the way home from Saturday lunch at her parents.

If I have my way, I stay up all night on a Saturday and walk down there between 5am and 7am on Sunday morning. That way there's less traffic to scare me, a bit less heat and usually no line at the ATMs.

The worst aspect is the stench. From about the exit of my apartment building all the way to the ICICI branch in Kalyani Nagar, the whole place stinks of sewage. About the only part that doesn't is where there's so much rotting garbage that it overpowers the sewage smell. There isn't even a dumpster there anymore, it's been gone for a few weeks, but people still throw their trash there anyway.

And the sidewalks are always covered in dog crap everywhere, and frequently a lot of what looks and smells (even from a bit of a distance) like vomit. I have walk around it all, which often means stepping out into traffic on the street, since I don't want to track any back in my apartment. Ick.

One thing that makes me uncomfortable about walking to the ATM is the number of watchmen who watch me walk past their posts at each building, and probably guess that on my return I'll have a pocket full of cash. They don't make me feel particularly safe.

Sometimes, if I remember to carry small change, I'll get a nice, fresh nariyal pani from the seller if he's set up at the entrance to Joggers' Park.

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