The India Archive [3]

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.

india_archives_travel

. . .

Our first “night” in Bangalore was one of my lowest lows. I’m not proud of my attitude or my mind set, but that’s culture shock for ya. Anyway, as I mentioned, it got better. A huge aid to the initial shock was the company I kept while I was across the world. There were 6 of us from my university and another 10 students from all over the United States. We also had two teachers (both from my school) and a study abroad advisor from Maryland who was checking out the program.

Alicia, Kinsey, and Sydney were my Ohio-native roommates and my main travel companions. Our fifth roommate was a lovely girl from Tennessee named Elizabeth. There were only two guys in our group of 16, but I think everyone got along really well. In addition to Ohio, there were students from Texas, California, New York, N. Caroline and more. Honestly, our group of 16 was a great mix and I felt comfortable adventuring with any and all of them.

india_archives
My roommate & travel buddy, Kinsey (OH)

. . .

india_archives
Alex (NY) & Blair (TN)

. . .

india_archives
Dr. Capuzza & Dr. Lyons (OH)

Our first full day in Bangalore was a whirlwind. I won’t bore you with an hour by hour retelling of my trip, but we covered a lot of ground in a little bit of time. Visitors that stay longer than 3 weeks are required to get a visa in India so we spent time at the photo shop to get the right photo and then at the police station to get our visa approved. It was a little scary- no visa means you go back on a plane and travel another +36 hours back to where you came from. Fortunately, with a little “bribing” (I’m not kidding… it’s pretty customary), it all went smoothly.

india archives

. . .

3 Post 5

. . .

india_archives

At the college (Christ University) we had a nice little welcome ceremony, took a tour, and were given our schedules for the term. I was signed up for Intercultural Communication (the class I needed for graduation) and yoga. I feel a teensy tiny bit of pride that I studied yoga while in India 🙂

india_archive
The entrance to our little area of class

. . .

india_archive

. . .

india_archive

. . .

india_archive
Entrance to our building on campus

We also went shopping for some groceries and clothing. Students from the university acted as our guides. I’d brought things from the US that I thought would be appropriate, but I purchased three tops and a scarf (THANK GOODNESS- I’ll explain why later) while we were shopping. During our time abroad a few girls purchased Saris, but it was impractical for me to get one.

3 Post 4
Breakfast on Day 1 from the cafeteria

. . .

india_archive
School courtyard

So we settled in and found some comfort foods (spaghetti! pb&j! cereal!) and got some clothes and used the school computers to email and check our Facebooks. Around this time we decided that we could probably survive for 4 weeks.

Did you miss part 1 and part 2? Be sure to check them out!

audielou.com_signature

Advertisements

19 thoughts on “The India Archive [3]

  1. How cool is it that you studied yoga in India? That’s definite bragging rights, right there! Also, I love that they had some comfort foods as well. Makes any transition easier!

    Like

    1. One of the very first nights we got pizza from a Papa John’s down the street! There weren’t TOO many American companies, but when we were missing home we could indulge in some comfort foods.

      Like

    1. I wasn’t scared at all until I got there, ha! And honestly, I never felt like my life was in danger (although I know it was at points, ha), but I really felt like my sanity was at stake… 🙂

      Like

  2. ohhh what were you eating for breakfast?? i also stress most about the foods in other countries when i travel because i’m such a picky eater with a high gag reflex HA. so glad you found PBJ yum. also visa’s to other countries are some of the most stressful situations we have encountered too.

    Like

    1. They had a delicious fresh juice bar that had yummy fruits (though you had to be careful which ones you ordered- and always without ice). Our breakfast was a mix of dosas (the flat crepe-looking thing on the left side of the photo) and 2 different sauces, rice and sauces, the puffy white patties… which are actually steamed rice patties and sauces, and some other weird spicy fruity things. Haha!

      Like

  3. Wow, I can’t wait to hear more about India. That’s one place I am afraid to go, if only for the reason that I am terrified of the food making me sick. Which sounds wrong… probably very wrong, but I’ve heard horror stories lol. Not about the taste, I love Indian food, but your body adjusting to it. I had no idea that there was American food there, though; I would probably also make sure I got some PBJ!

    Like

    1. Nooo, you’re totally justified. Delhi-belly? It’s a real thing. Haha! We all found ourselves with upset stomachs at least once, but the only time I threw up was from my malaria medicine. (It made me SO nauseous!) There was a list of things you couldn’t eat like ice (because the water was unfiltered), raw veggies (rinsed in unfiltered water), and fruits without a rind (like an apple… because of the exposure/unfiltered water contact). I refrained from eating meat for the most part, too. Fortunately there was a LOT we could eat and it was delicious. Our bodies adjusted quickly 🙂 There was a McDonald’s in the local mall, too, and it had some weird native choices on the menu!

      Like

  4. Whaaat? I can’t believe you have to bribe to get your visa haha! That’s kind of hilarious and also kind of awesome you got to experience that cultural quirk. I studied abroad in Australia so I had to get my visa ahead of time aka boring. Ha!

    Like

    1. It was weird… Our guide was like, “Ok, the bride to get your visa approved is XXX rupees.” I was like… HUH??! Haha! I wish I could’ve done it ahead of time; it was stressful!

      Like

  5. I think the biggest culture shock arriving in India was the initial stench coming off the airplane, the dogs, and the ludicrous drivers. It was smart not to get the saris; I’m (half) Indian and I can’t even put them on without help! I was kind of surprised that the breakfast was so heavy. I’m glad the trip got a little bit better for you!

    Like

    1. THE SMELL. I don’t even know how to describe it accurately. (That’s why I was SO happy to have a scarf. I used it over my face countless times!!) India is gorgeous and diverse and so colorful…. and I don’t want to discredit any of that… but the negatives (crowd, smell, litter) are very, very shocking.

      Our breakfasts got smaller 🙂 I think our host was just trying to give us a sample of everything that day. I’d written in my journal that I’d kept while I was there that India isn’t big on breakfast… It must’ve really made an impression on me! Haha!
      And of course the dogs. My heart broke daily.

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s