Saturday, November 17, 2012

Dear Blog, I Swear I Haven't Forgotten About You...

So I genuinely feel bad about being so neglectful with my blog lately. It's funny, because I actually think about my blog quite often and form posts in my mind, but then my procrastination takes over and I never get around to sitting down to write anything. I've actually started a few posts, but then I've never gotten around to finishing them. So here's an update:
At the beginning of October, myself, Diana, Trudy, Kaia, and Marianna went to Mysore. It was just a long weekend, but we had a really good time. It was a very relaxing and easy-going city. One day we hired a rickshaw driver to drive us around the city and give us a bit of a tour. He was really nice and very knowledgable, and charged us a really good rate. We ate breakfast at a cafe in the Green Hotel everyday. The hotel was quite fancy and hosted almost exclusively white, British people, but the cafe was run entirely by women who were from the lowest caste bracket, the Dalits. The food and coffee was delicious and the bread was freshly baked and heavenly.
My first sip of delicious beer
A few weeks later, in mid-October, I embarked on a trekking trip with Diana, Connor, and Terrence. We spent a day in Bangalore, and it kind of really sucked. Basically its just a big transport city, so you only really need to go there if you're on your way to somewhere else. The only redeeming part was when we went to India's only microbrewery that night and I had my first decent beer in months. The next day we took a bus to a little town called Madikeri, which is situated in the foothills of the Western Ghats. Although Madikeri wasn't all that great, the surrounding area was gorgeous and reminded me a lot of the Smokies. We were supposed to go on an overnight trek, however, the night before we were to leave Diana and I got quite sick. Like, "vomit was going out of my nose" sick. So the guys basically carried us to the bus station and we went to Mysore, which is between Madikeri and Bangalore, to recover.
When I was in Mysore for the second time I bought a beautiful sari, but I had to get it shipped to Hyderabad and that's been a bit of a hassle. I still don't have it and I would like to get it tailored (actually turned into a sari) before I leave for my Christmas travels. We went to Mumbai over Diwali, but I'm going to devote an entire post to that trip. Mostly I've just been trying to save money by hanging around Hyderabad when I'm not traveling.
This past week has been exam week, which has been stressful, as always, but I'm nearly done. I just have Urdu next Wednesday.
I read JK Rowling's new book, The Casual Vacancy, and I really enjoyed it. It was like meeting an old friend again after being a part for a while, although it was weird to read her writing about masturbation and other "adult situations." I mean, obviously Harry, Ron, and the other Gryffindor boys "relieved themselves," but I just assume let them have their privacy.
It's incredibly strange that I've only got a week left of this semester. I just don't know where the time went, but I guess that's always the case when you're enjoying yourself. Before we left for Mysore, all of the SIP students put on a Cultural Evening, which the whole campus was invited to. I guess we were kind of "required" to put on the show, but everything was pulled off entirely by us, the students. It turned out really nicely. The sitar, kuchipudi and Bollywood dance, and tabla classes all performed, a few of the Hindi students put on a skit, and several people sang and guitared it up. Connor made some video-shorts that were really funny and at the end we had a flash mob of Gangnam Style. After the show Tagore hosted a really nice dinner that everyone was invited to. Overall, a good time was had by all.
I just can't imagine Tagore without all of these people here. I mean, I'm sure next semester I'll grow to be just as fond of the new group, but it'll definitely be an adjustment.
I think that's about it. Obviously more has happened, but my shit-memory just can't recall any of it. I'll write about Mumbai soon, I pinky promise!
Here are some pictures:
Entrance to the Green Hotel & cafe
Outside of Mysore Palace
In the market in Mysore
On the way to a waterfall in Madikeri
The Western Ghats
I'm just really happy with this picture
The kuchipudi dancers at the Cultural Evening
Thomas performing with the sitar class.
His enthusiasm while playing only made the crush I have on him bigger. 

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