01 June 2009

A New Journey Begins

India. India. India.

I’ve just repeated this in my head ever since Kristen and I made the decision to come here. Truthfully, when we made our decision I had a very small idea of what to expect other than the few documentaries I have seen on television. Slowly, I began to develop my preconceptions of this country while preparing for our trip. I’ll have to detail more once we finish our trip here and I have a chance to fully digest what we experienced.

Right now Kristen and I have made it through two days in India and have virtually completed our experience here in Hyderabad.

It started off easily enough. Catch a quick three hour flight from Bangkok and end up in Hyderabad. Quickly we had two shocks that alerted us that we weren’t in the United States, let alone Thailand anymore. First was money. We had none. We both had banked that there would be an ATM at the airport where we could get some Rupees. As soon as we received out bags we saw a sign that said “ATM” and went over to get some money. Unfortunately, as soon as we got there the ATM sign was just that, a sign. There were no ATMs. The next half hour was spent frantically searching the airport looking for the lone ATM all the while avoiding the taxi touts (no it’s fine I’d prefer that you didn’t drive me to an ATM to pay you). After a few other glitches we found an ATM and got our much needed Rupees.

Second shock. Hyderabad has a new airport. It is 30km outside the city. The old airport was 8km to the city. We didn’t know that. Our taxi ride consisted of me yelling at the taxi driver convinced that he was just driving us around to run the meter up as well as worrying he was taking us to the middle of nowhere.

Driver: “thirty kilometers to city”
Me: “no, eight”
Driver: “ten, twenty, thirty”
Me: “one, two, eight!”

After a long ride we finally got to our hotel which was on a deserted street. We later found out that this was an insanely busy street from about 06:00 to 00:00 and after everyone goes home to bed.

We settled into our hotel room shortly after and prepared for day one in Hyderabad.

This is India.

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