Hi, there. So, I successfully made it to Hyderbad, India. I stayed a few days there, where Nitin and his family are putting me up in royal fashion. They are putting on a clinic in hospitality. A few initial impressions of India:
– The traffic is chaos. This is the case in almost every non-North-American city that I visit. It’s insane. Much like China, but for some reason I find India is next level. Maybe it’s because they drive on the left side of the road which further disoriented me (well, they are supposed to drive on the left side, but the truth is they drive all over the road). There are traffic signals and lane markings on some of the roads, but these seem to be just suggestions. Multiple times my rickshaw has been driving directly for an oncoming bus and swerved at the last second (I typically have my eyes closed). Some of the manoeuvres are amazing and apparently legal. Nitin says, “If you can pull it off, you can do it”. Nice.
Auto-rickshaw ride in Hyderabad. Given the rough roads and the aspiring race-car driver at the wheel, I did not stand a chance of this photo not being blurry.
– The food is great. Almost every day I eat something I have never tried before. As expected the food is spicy, but the most ill-effect I have experienced so far are the hiccups. Not bad.
– The weather is damn hot.
– As a foreigner, I was very popular in Hyderabad. Many people stop to chat with me and shake my hand. They want to know where I’m from, what my profession is, how big my family is, etc. In fact, multiple people wanted to have their picture taken with me! I am more popular in India than I am in my own country.
Shining-white temple in Hyderabad
After a tour and a few days in Hyderabad, I took an overnight train to the state of Goa, which is known for its beaches and big parties back in the day. I spent 3 relaxing days there (I’m starting this trip out well with some beach time :) ). During the day it is excruciatingly hot, but the evenings are balmy as the breeze comes in off the Arabian sea. One day I rented a motorcycle and cruised around from village to village on tiny roads that had as many cows on them as people. Great fun.
My ride. 150 CCs. Bad ass.
Oh, and I played my first game of cricket with some kids on the beach. My first at-bat I (accidentally) ripped one into the sea and scored four “runs” (? not sure of the terminology) before the kids fished the ball out, haha :)
My cricket teammates. I think I want to become an Indian cricket star
Anyway, that is for now. I just recently got to the state of Kerala, which is referred to as the “God’s country” of India. Very promising.
I’ll keep you posted…