-Our group went into the city on a tour this Saturday, 23-7-11, with our resident assitant Abhishek. Our trip started with my first experience on a public bus in Hyderabad. It wasn’t crowded when we first got on but by the time we had to switch it was packed. It hasn’t been too hot in Hyderabad, nothing like the heat up north in Delhi, Agra and Jaipur, so it wasn’t too bad. I sat next to a very friendly Indian woman who has a son living in St. Louis. The program directors have tried to scare us into thinking that everyone is bad but I haven’t come across any mean-spirited people except the old man who was cursing and kicking glass at us.

Well the story gets interesting when our group had to seperate into two different rickshaws. So five of us got in one and our resident assitant was in the other one. But the driver didn’t know where we were going and dropped us off at a different place than everyone else. Did I mention we haven’t got our cell phones yet? So here we are lost in a city that we have never been in with no cell phone or directions and there is a great language barrier. Luckily we were at the right park but the rest of our group was at a different gate. Fifteen minutes go by. We are frantickly looking for Abhishek, the guide, asking random people on the street to use their phones. We finally get through but he doesn’t answer. So it’s looking like we are screwed. We all stayed calm and if all else failed we could just take a rickshaw back to campus. Then out of no where Abhishek jumps out of a rickshaw all distressed. He thought we were being human trafficked. Apparently when a driver drops you off at a different location they could be trying to sell you into sexual slavery. Fortunately for us, he was harmless. Just a dude who doesn’t speak English. Indians never say no so when a driver isn’t sure of what you are asking they just bob their head or say something like “yes tomorrow”. That was the case with this guy. After that our day was very calm. Nothing else went wrong. No worries Mom and Dad.

We went to the Hussian Sagar, which is a lake in the city. At the center of the lake there is an island with a huge Buddha statue. We took a ferry out to the island and hung out for awhile. It was gorgeous and the breeze was heavenly. Unfortunately I didn’t bring my camera but other people took pictures which I’m sure I can borrow. After the park, we went to lunch at this diner where I had the Chole Bhature. It is this fried dough bread that comes out like a huge bubble. The thing was huge, at least 5 inches tall. You take the bread and put all the spicy chickpeas, onion and chili peppers together. It was pretty good but I’m still getting used to the weird textures of Indian food. Then I had the Awful Awful which is my kind of food, a huge ice cream sundae. Heaven.

We went to a book store. I went a little crazy but I couldn’t help myself. The books are so much cheaper here. We took a train home. I leaned out the door and got the best view. Plus the wind and rain felt amazing.

When we got back Abhishek tried to get the piece of glass that has been stuck in my foot out. He kept picking at it which was terribly painful. Then he whipped out his key like that was the best tool. When I asked him if he wanted to sanitize it, he looked at me like I was crazy. But even though he was unsucccessful, Annie was. Thank God, problem solved. Now I know you’re freaking out Mom and Dad but don’t. I’m fine. More than fine actually. I’m safe, healthy and most importantly happy.