In 2012 I spent four weeks in Bangalore, India. It was the hardest thing I have ever done. I cried a lot, I complained a lot, and there were at least two instances that I was positive I would die. That said, I learned a lot and went on adventures and had so much fun. On a bi-weekly-Monday basis I will share my trip here.
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The four-week study abroad program I applied to was presented to me/us in an “Eat, Pray, Love” kind of way. In reality, we saw a lot more “Slumdog Millionaire” action. Honestly, the two movies that sum up the real India are “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel” and “Million Dollar Arm.” All of that to say Bangalore is a real city in a real foreign country and it was real culture shock.
I am so glad that I traveled to Bangalore, but I really wish I would have had the right knowledge to mentally prepare; I think it would’ve made a world of difference. But what’s done is done.
My mom encouraged me to study abroad in my final year of school, but I believe she had a westernized European county in mind. When I came home with India brochures my parents’ jaws dropped and it took a little convincing to get them to agree. K was also a little wary, but like I said on Friday, he was nothing but supportive.
There were 6 girls that signed up for the program from my university. Additionally, there were 10 other students from the US that met up with us at our layover in Hong Kong or in Bangalore. (Plus 3 American adults on the trip.) The flights from Pittsburgh to NY to Hong Kong were fairly uneventful (and loooong) but our trip from Hong Kong to Bangalore scared the living sh*t out of me. I’m still a little nervous when it comes to flying.
Never in my life has a plane shook so hard or dropped altitude so fast. Even the flight attendants had fear in their voices. One of my travelmates was across the aisle and two rows behind me and I swear we just locked eyes and knew we were going to die in the damn Bay of Bengal. Everyone else on the plane (read: Asian business men and women) were peacefully sleeping. It was so surreal.
Obviously we were fine and landed in Bangalore after roughly 36 hours of travel. #dead
So that’s enough for now. I could go on for hours; it was seriously the biggest adventure of my life!
More India craziness in two weeks!