Published: July 20th 2012July 20th 2012
I'm not exactly sure where I left off on the last post, but I'll start with what I remember the best and most recently which will most likely lead me back around to where I started. Today I moved in to my homestay! This is where I will be living for the next four months. The thought of that in general, four months here (minus one week), feels much more real now. Before at the hotel, it felt like I was just on like a week or two week vacation because most of our activities were orientation stuff, and I never really unpacked at all. Now I am living in a really nice area called Greater Khaleish II, which so far looks beautiful! There are tons of gardens around, and large fancy houses. In New Friends Colony, where the IES center is, and where we were at the hotel, is also a good neighborhood, but so far looks very different from this one. Also, the night life/shopping in this area is supposed to be good too! I'm excited to explore and have some independence from the program. I am living with a recently widowed old woman, named Indu Chopra, she has housed students for 6 years and is the sweetest lady! She was very welcoming, told us she will be our mother, and fed us a great first meal. There are 5 servents who work for her (if that gives you any indication of what the house looks like). There are 6 of us girls living here (all of which I really like and get along with), we are two to a room, each with our own bathroom. I am excited to make this my new "home base".
Earlier today we all got paired up with a peer who took us to a temple, out to eat, and various activities. The girl who I was with is getting her Phd in Sociology, and has lived in India her whole life. She was kind, and a good host. We learned how to take an auto rikshaw, and bargain more forcefully! I got 3 pairs of cool pants, cool as in temperature, to wear. Originally one he priced at 850 rupees! That is like 15 bucks! I ended up only paying 4, and the girl said that if she were alone, she would have only had to pay 3. I enjoyed taking the rikshaw, but it made me a little queasy. I think after four months in India I will never get carsick again. This will now be my new mode of transportation. The place we ate for lunch was delicious and I think I had my favorite meal so far, sorry no photos of this one! I do have some photos from this day though that I will upload later. The temple we went to was nice, but it was very hot and walking without shoes on the outside tile burned my feet. With the intense humidity, and heat, we are all constantly sweating. I also experienced the metro here, which was nicer than any metro I had ever been in ! It is pretty new, but also just kept clean. Rather than advertisements lining the wall, it was beautiful Indian artwork representing each city in India. Another interesting thing we did was go to an underground market, it was nice to get out of the heat, but the bombardment of salesmen is insane, very hard to describe. Maybe when I get back I'll act it out for y'all.
This morning we had our introductory Yoga lesson! There is something fantastic about doing yoga in India. It feels right! The teacher was amazing, and I am definitely going to be taking that class. Hopefully I will come home with a strong body, and strong will!
Sorry for the long post! I have found it is much easier to type out everything, and my thoughts rather than handwriting them. Tike? Accha. [Okay? Very good.]