first day kinda

So my 'first day' in India. The jet lag is really something. So hard to feel like it is day when your body is screaming at you that it is night time. Sunday morning, after a safe arrival in the hotel I felt like I had been beaten with a stick. It was so intense and unreal. I showered [which was bliss] and ate then feel into a weird intense sleep for a good 5 hours.

Why is it that I always feel so incredibly dirty after travel? I am not really doing much at all, just sitting around for the most part. But I get so incredibly grubby, or at least I feel that way.

Anyway I woke up at 1:30, determined to stay awake until evening. It was not easy but I did it. A coworker and I decided to get a driver and go out into the city. We at first thought to use a hotel driver but they wanted to charge us 2000-4000 rupees for a few hours which I knew was way too much. I have read that you can hire a driver and AC car for Rs 100 [or less] for a whole day. I'm not sure if the hotel always charges high because it is a very expensive hotel, or is they thought we were suckers. We lucked out though, one of the drivers assigned to our group was available and showed up speaking excellent English and we were off.
Hyderabad is a large city with a lot of traffic. He took us around. He took us to his friends' lovely shop even though we assured him we would not be purchasing today. It was nice to have our first peek at Indian crafts. It was also odd to be in a store where 4 people are hovering around anxious to be of service. I, not surprisingly, fell in love with an all silk rug.

My in-laws brought back 2 of these gorgeous rugs from their trip. But they are expensive even in India, and I cannot help but think what happens the first time one of the animals throws up on it? Or has another kind of 'accident'? That is what would happen in my house [probably]. So we'll see if I succumb in the month I am here.

Then we drove to visit the Birla Mandir temple.,_Hyderabad
They do not allow cameras [or phones or shoes] there which seems reasonable since it is an active temple and people are at their devotions there. Cell phones are legion in India and the ringing is probably not very conducive to meditation. There are a legion of pictures to be found online though. Not only is the temple itself beautiful but the views from the top over the lake and city are stunning. We saw 2 men cleaning a wall with water and pumice, certainly a full time job since the entire thing is made of marble. Since no one wears shoes, even the security guards, your feet don't get too dirty.

I can't even describe everything that we saw on that drive. The Muslim graveyard with it's brightly colored markers. The cows all over. The amazing way they drive. Surely Indians are the leaders at merging while driving. The incredible way 4+ people fit on one scooter. The dogs I saw all seemed large and long legged. The incredible amounts of new construction, the boulders and ruins and shacks of people right next to new office buildings.

India is so large. In fact this is the first time this week I have thought about missing Mich Fest. India really fills your senses.


eirwenes said...

Be careful with those rugs! Make sure they aren't made by children. The conditions those children work under are the literal definition of crime, and sin, and evil. You would cry if you knew about it. And if you bring one of those rugs home, and find out after, you won't be able to burn the regret away. :-(

engagedbliss said...

Thanks for the reminder Beth, it would be horrible to bring something home made by slave labor.

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