It's funny how time and distance change you, the roads you take don't always lead you home.
I am writing from the hotel on an iPad so my apologies for the length–technology is hard.
I have spent the last two days rediscovering the city I have come to call home. With a 51 year old shadow, I crossed the city–shopping and eating as I went. My dad has come to India to enjoy 36 hours with his first (and favorite) daughter. Before coming, my sister asked him what he was most nervous for on his first trip to the subcontinent. His reply? “Emma has all the control.” It was a good opportunity for Al to relinquish his leadership to his daughter who has been all over the city for the past three months.
We began in a bazaar. Wandering the crowded streets, picking up small presents for loved ones at home. Goats BAAAH’D in our direction as they nommed on trash heaps in between shops. We rode to the city center where we climbed up a spiral stair case made of rock to the top of Charminar–the famous four posted monument of Hyderabad. With a crowd of ten Indian men following us around, we took pictures and cooled off in the breeze above the city chaos.
We then stopped for lunch at Kamat Hotel–a restaurant famous for its authentic Indian cuisine from all regions. For a little over $10 we feasted on poori, curry, and salty lime sodas. For dessert, “King of Ice Cream” himself enjoyed one scoop of full fat, full sugar Indian ice cream. Needless to says he is hooked and hasn’t stopped asking when we can get some next.
Our bellies full we hiked up the hill to see Birla Mandir, the main marble temple downtown. Although it is beautifully carved inside, we were more interested in the view of the city it provided. A short nap and seafood dinner next to the lake later, day one was complete.
Early to rise, we headed out on the train towards campus. After a short mishap with the train schedule, we made it. Better late than never. The heat on campus was excruciating, yet we met the important people in my CIEE adventure and toured my closet of a dorm room. After sharing the joys of hitch hiking the 1.5 miles to the main gate of campus, we set off in an auto to shilparimum–the craft bazaar. Picking up gifts and rehydrating, it was a great way to spend the rest of our morning.
After a disappointing “Italian” lunch, we headed to my favorite temple in Jubilee Hills. Dedicated to the Indian version of the famous Ron Swanson (Parks n Rec) it provides laughs to those who can catch the reference. Aka no one. We attempted to balance coins with no luck and headed off for cappuccinos in a huff.
An evening well spent at the Park hotel for dinner. Enjoying kebabs and Perrier (al finally got some bubble water #addict) by the infinity pool looking out over Husain Saggar–the smelly, polluted lake of downtown Hyderabad.
Now for the third day, we have just gotten up and plan to explore some of the silly parks around the lake. Keddy is joining us for an eventful day of play!
NOTE: pictures to come as I am not entirely sure how to add them from the WordPress app.