The First Outings
After borrowing clothes and cleaning up, my new friend, Rachel, and I decided to explore campus.
I was shocked at how vast it is!
The Tagore International Hostel (where I am staying) is surrounded by other Men’s and Women’s Hostels to the south of campus. We walked a good 30 minutes north and still didn’t make it to the edge of campus. It is not laid out by “blocks” as many American campuses are. Instead, it is one piece of land with all the buildings spread out. The departments of study range from Engineering to Buddhist Studies to Physical Exercise. All the buildings are made of cement, are older looking, and are painted in pastel colors. The roads connecting the buildings are a combination of dirt and asphalt. Random dogs lay in the heat and cows roam the grassy areas. There are brightly colored flowers along the medians and trees give ample shade in the warm heat.
The rooms are simple- bed, desk and closet space for two as well as a bulletin board and small window. However, my roommate is yet to be seen 😦
To fill up the afternoon we decided to explore the Hyderabad area a bit. (Plus I needed some clothes!) Over lunch I met another Rachel, so the three of headed out with Kevin as our guide.
This is Kevin-
Kevin, studied at the UoH last semester and loved it so much that he couldn’t leave. He spent his winter break in northern India and is staying as a student this semester. He had a lot of great information and advice for the novice Hyderabad traveler.
Our destination was a suburb of Hyderabad called Lingampally, a short 20 minute drive by auto rickshaw! These little cabs can really be packed tight–Driving home, we fit 15 people on one of these!
Anyway, Kevin showed us the town, walking through the streets with ease and pointing out his favorite places. We stopped at a grocery store first for some needed essentials…soap, bug spray, etc. Then we got to the clothes at “Delhi Style.” This place had colorful fabrics stacked in all shapes and sizes. After much discussion with the owners, I ended up with two outfits and a skirt. One includes kurta (tunic), salwar (baggy pants), and chunni (scarf). The other is a dressy tunic with two layers, bold and sheer. And I also got a colorful skirt. (Look forward to pictures later!)
What I loved most was simply taking it all in. I was particularly focused on the women’s garments after buying some of my own. Each is beautifully unique- whether bold, patterned, draped, or rimmed in gold. The women are so naturally gorgeous and I love the way their skin tone accentuates the colors of the fabric.
The street scene is just what you would typically imagine of India: vendors selling fried treats, fresh coconut, tea, or accessories. Beggars are at every corner while rickshaws and motorbikes wiz past. Garbage lines the streets, alley ways, and streams. But there is a beauty to it all, yet I do not quite understand it. I’m sure there will be more experiences linked with comments to come.
As a nibble to end our trip, Kevin introduced us to our first tastes of street food: marsala chai tea, fried dough, and fried peppers, both served with a spicy masala sauce. Yum! Kevin will be a good person to have around 🙂
It made for a full first day in Hyderabad after a long travel time, but it was worth it! I can trust that I will crash after dinner and sleep throughout the night.
(2 Rachels + Maria)