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May 30th 2016
Published: June 3rd 2016
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I use this blog to remember things and keep my family and friends up to date on what I’m doing… anyone is welcome but you’ll find it ramblings nonsense if you don’t know me J

Sunday 16th May – Bangalore

I arrived back from Delhi and was very happy to see Noor waiting for me J We got sorted and planned the rest of the day… first stop was the Marriott hotel in Whitefield to collect some new work paraphernalia… it was nice to catch up with Chris and Pete who had arrived that morning (Chris for a week, Pete for 3 weeks). They then helped me do my food shopping in Hypercity and carried it to Noor and the car for me!

Back at home I got settled in. It was my first time back to the apartment on my own. I missed Brian but it wasn’t too bad although Usha had been far too efficient and washed things I didn’t want her to, like the old t-shirt Brian always leaves for me grrr. I ordered take out and focused on Uni… had a lot to do!

Monday 17th to Friday 20th May – Bangalore

It was a busy week with work, we had an event in Bangalore which meant I spent a lot of time working and not a lot of time essay writing but it was really nice to have my colleagues in town. I had to resort to takeaway a few times… but the good thing here is that you can order pretty much anything and much of it can be made healthy. I also stayed and ate at the JW Marriott in UB City for a team dinner which was really nice and meant I got a swim in a pool. Markus and Elin invited me out to dinner one evening, so we walked to a north Indian restaurant on 80ft road. That was REALLY good. I’m always feeling guilty about not studying when I need to but going out with Markus and Elin is like studying because they know so much stuff about the stuff I’m studying and give me good inspiration for my final paper.

I had some issues to sort out at home… the hot water in my bedroom wasn’t fixed all week… trying to find out some progress usually involved talking to three people trying to translate for each other… I figured in the end there was no point having the conversation unless Noor was present to effectively translate. We also had a very serious power cut… I was literally clicking submit for the essay plan I had to send to my tutor… when the power failed… again… and again… and again. The generator wasn’t kicking in and I decided to go to bed after hearing a lot of hammers banging… I was pleased with myself that I didn’t freak out though! And Usha went AWOL… no sign of her for 4 days. I eventually found out (with Noor’s help again) that she was unwell (she’s better now J).

Friday I had a nice evening but one that shows how typically frustrating Bangalore is. It was Chris’s last night in the city so I went to meet him and Pete for dinner… We all spent 1 ½ hours travelling to a restaurant called ‘Fisherman’s Wharf’… I arrived at mine… they arrived at theirs… and we found we were both in different restaurants (I was in the right one J). So they decided to come to me… and an hour and bit later they arrived. I’d already made my way through some nachos and a beer… I was so glad I waited for them as we had a really funny time! The restaurant wasn’t the best but there was a nightclub upstairs that shared restrooms with the restaurant and any visit to them was interesting… I found one poor girl passed out in the sink :/

Saturday 21st to Sunday 22nd May, Bangalore

Soooo the weekend was all fun. It started off well with breakfast and playing game online with Brian… then I set about studying. Writing my final essay EVER (assuming I pass, have to keep saying that to avoid tempting fate). It wasn’t fun at all… you’d think the last one ever would be a relief but I actually felt more desperate than I have with any of the others. I just wanted to be able to do nice things, like exercise and get my nails done but no, that all had to wait. I had some great support from friends back home (you know who you are), Jane and Sharon here and my neighbours. I went out on Saturday night to a local beer café with Marcus, Elin, Cameron and Bobby and they were all giving me inspiration. I did not leave the house on Sunday :/ I wished I was at home with my Mum and Dad feeding me and keeping me going J

Monday 23rd to Friday 27th May, Bangalore

This week was not the best and there’s not much to say about it. I got up, went to work, came home, and wrote. I mostly ate takeaways… which thankfully were not all unhealthy.

The big challenges were to do with my laptop. On Wednesday… whilst writing my essay on the way to work we went over a road bump… and I broke the hinge on my laptop (exactly the same thing that had happened to Brian’s a few months before). I didn’t know what to say… Noor didn’t know what to say… he could see I was so distressed. When I tried to open and close it it got worse and the screen started cracking… so it stayed open on the seat with Noor keeping a close eye on it as I went back to work. The kind people at work came and took a look at it, there was no hope. Anyway I got it home safely and it made it through to Tuesday (deadline day).

And then on Thursday I was sat at home writing when I realised the lights in the living room were off. I tried to turn them on and they wouldn’t work so I went off looking for the caretaker, who checked the trip switch and it wasn’t off. So they said an electrician would come out tomorrow. I then tried to email my essay to myself as a back up to find the internet wasn’t working… I figured it must be all part of the same connection. So I went back down to the caretaker and said this REALLY needs to be sorted ASAP. Tomorrow was the only option. I gave up for the night and half an hour later the doorbell rang and the caretaker and security guard were investigating the problem. They located a trip box in my apartment (I’d never noticed it and found something had tripped out). So yay I had lights and internet. I backed up my essay and settled down to watch my TV show… and then got low battery warnings even though my laptop was charging. Yep, charger was broken. !!!!!!!!!! I pretty much lost it at that point and went to bed.

I got it sorted over the next few days, with Noor’s help. Not sure what he made of me in tears in the backseat for a whole morning but he took it in his stride and was very protective as we were driving and walking all over the place looking for chargers. He later asked me if I’d called my husband (what he calls Brian), needed a doctor and suggested I got a cook to make sure I eat properly. And said that when I’ve finished my studies I had to have fun. Bless him.

Nice things this week were going to Seraphina, an Italian just down the road, with Marcus and Elin. As always they got me out when I needed it and gave me lots of inspiration. And on Friday going to Windmill Craftworks with Pete. It’s a microbrewery so we sampled some beer and listened to the band… who were billed as jazz but most definitely were not jazz. They were from Cornwall and very folky, they liked having a chat in between songs and whilst the music and singing was nice the chats and lyrics were random. Pete and I didn’t think it could get any worse at one point… then they started talking about finding frozen children and murder in the UK!

Saturday 24th to Monday 30th May

The weekend was all about Uni. I did join the gym on Saturday to give me something to look forward to. But other than that it was Uni. And Marcus and Elin getting me out for some food to an amazing Japanese, it was so good. We had the first rain of monsoon on Saturday night, turned the roads into rivers and the traffic into even more random chaos.

On Monday I worked from home and went to the doctor, who was brilliant, did such a good job and only charged £4.50. I went to the gym at lunchtime which I was so relieved about! And then after work I finished off my essay (my lovely colleague Sharon had proof read it and given some good feedback) and submitted it at about 9pm! Oh it was such a relief.

I decided to do an International Studies degree (politics, economic, development, the environment, history) with The Open University in 2009 so I have been doing it for just under 7 years (could have done it in 5 or 6 but had some breaks for various reasons). At the time it was a wonderful idea… and the first 3 years were enjoyable. I learned interesting things and never spent the recommended time on study but still got great marks. The last 3 years have been terrible… I remember ringing the university once to ask for an extension and them telling me… “you are doing a full time degree you know?!”. And I was like “Um no, I thought it was part time… because I have a full time job, you know”. Anyway it’s nearly sent me crazy at times, it really does take over and as much as I’d recommended The Open University (materials and support are great) you have to know what you’re getting into. It is tough, really tough around any job or other commitment but I have a demanding job, and my charity and house issues to sort out so the last push has been horrible. I am so grateful to my family, friends and colleagues for their support. I cannot name check everyone but my Mum and Dad have been incredible… letting me move home for the weekends so they could just feed me and give me company whilst I was writing… and Brian who also fed me, made me keep going when I wanted to stop and gave me alcohol if needed J And all my lovely friends who I could never do as much fun stuff with as I wanted to because I was already studying (you have me back now!... well when I'm back from India... you'll get random Skype's in the meantime) I’ll get my results in July and then I can put it behind me. I’m already feeling happier and like I can do fun stuff again!

Also on Monday… I packed as going away for the week with work. So next… on tour in the west…

Lots of love. A very much happier…. with a weight lifted…

Rachel Xx


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