Sunday, February 3, 2013

Back Again

Coming back to Hyderabad was almost like coming home. It was sad to walk through the Hyderabad airport without Kaia and Diana, knowing that I wouldn't be seeing them this semester, but once I got back to Tagore and saw the other five people that stayed from last semester, I knew everything was going to be just fine.
It's hard to believe that I've already been back for nearly a month, but I'll try to recall everything accurately.
Spring semester at UoH technically started on January 3, but my plane ticket was already booked for January 7. By the time I got to Tagore on the 8th or 9th (once again, time zones are super confusing) I was kind of already known as the "mysterious late girl." I was afraid that I'd missed out on the essential bonding time with the new SIP students, but people were still settling in by the time I arrived. If anything, being the last person to get there just gave me an excuse to ask, "what is your name again?" for an extra week than was socially graceful.
Since all I brought back from India to the US in December was presents and my pillow, I had a lot of room in my backpack on my return trip. I filled up the entirety of my backpack with tampons and food. Like, the checked bag limit was 50lbs and my backpack was 47lbs. It took me one week to finish one of my bags of pretzel M&Ms and 3weeks to finish my first jar of peanut butter. We all have to make sacrifices while living abroad, but undoubtedly mine is the hardest.
All of the new people here are really great. There's more than there were last semester, but about half of them are all in home-stays, which makes it really hard to know everyone (at this point I've given up on ever knowing the home-stay kids). There are a lot more girls than boys, which has potential to be weird but since everyone is so nice its been really great so far.
As far as school goes everything actually seems to be a lot more organized this semester, which I think terrifies the new kids since they didn't think anything was organized at all. By the time I got here nearly everyone had bikes and phones and the classes on the course list were actually the classes being offered. This semester SIP got another Urdu professor (thank god) so I continuing with that in the hopes that I might actually learn something this time around. I'm also taking Indian Diaspora, Women's Movements in India, and Ayurveda.
Team Tagorgeous
The second week I was here, some girls were watching a cricket match on campus and a professor approached them and asked them if they wanted to set up an intramural team at Tagore. So when they started to ask around at Tagore I agreed, thinking it would be a fun way to meet new people and ridiculous to see a bunch of white girls playing cricket for the first time in India.
The first meeting/practice was on a Sunday afternoon, so me and a few of the girls walked across campus to meet up with the group. We met for about 2hr with the professor and a couple of students who had agreed to help out. Basically, there was a tournament being held the next week and since we had a team we'd be playing in it. At the end of practice the coach set up our next practice time, which was the next day at 6 in the fucking morning. He asked if that worked for everyone, and I was absolutely the most vocal in expressing that that did not work for me. I mean, thinking about me even participating in an organized sport is laughable, but then expecting me to wake up before noon to play that said sport is absurd. I politely informed the group that I would not be attending the 6am practices, but I was more than happy to practice outside Tagore with them between tea time and dinner (5-7pm). They said that was fine, therefore I did not even pretend to make an effort to get up for practice.
We were originally supposed to play our first game that coming Thursday, but India being India, our game was postponed until the next Tuesday. The tournament was "you lose, you're out style," and even though our coach told the girls that they weren't the worst he'd ever seen (allegedly, I wasn't there in the mornings to actually hear him say this), in no way did we expect to win any games.
"Go Tagorgeous!! Do it for all the samosas in India!!"
So as Tuesday loomed closer we practiced almost every afternoon and were feeling semi-confident. We showed up to our game on Tuesday in total style, all wearing our hideously matching SIP polos we were given and black leggings. As fate would have it, we had 13 girls ready to play, but only 11 players are ever on the field. I was the first to volunteer to sit out, seeing as I didn't commit myself to go to any of the practices and would've only been a hindrance on the field anyway. I designated myself official bag and water girl and cheered 'til I was hoarse. A little into the game some more Tagorians came with signs to cheer us on. We may have been the oddest group there, but we absolutely had the most spirit.
Despite the fact that we were a bunch of white girls who had been playing cricket for only a week, we played a really good game! I mean, we still lost, but only by 4 points! The referee/announcer said he was really impressed by us and told us that there would be another tournament in March. So hopefully we'll regroup, and I'll actually practice, so we can make a come back.
da Ladys
This month has also been FULL of birthdays! Marianna's was on Jan. 13th, mine on the 20th, Trudy's on the 24th, and Terence has on on February 11th. A whole bunch of us went out for dinner on Marianna's birthday and the following Friday a group of us went to a "Cuban" club for my birthday. The five of us from last semester (minus a guy named Kevin) went and it was a lot of fun. Of course, I say this retroactively because there's a lot of that night I can't remember. Trudy and Marianna bought me a flaming shot, then Terence one-up-ed them and bought me a bigger flaming shot! It was fun, but I can't see myself repeating the event.
Flaming Shot #2
That Sunday myself, Trudy, Marianna, and Connor went for lunch at this German bakery we discovered then we went to Snow World!!! It was by far the most ridiculous thing I've ever payed money to do, but it was still fun. Its basically just this huge indoor area that they pump full of artificial snow, filled with fake snow people, sleds, and about a million rubber balls. Once you get your ticket, you enter into the "preparation room" at your allotted time, where you and about 75 others are given identical red or blue coats, boots, and gloves. Then you have an hour to spend in the magic of Snow World!! We left after about 45min since we were not dressed appropriately for the -5 degrees celsius the room is kept at, but we had a good time.
That next weekend, nearly everyone left Tagore to go on some sort of trip. Since the gang that was here last semester isn't doing as much traveling this semester, we were part of the approximately 15 people left at Tagore. That Friday night, the 11 girls that were here grouped up and went to a "ladies night" at a club called Liquids. Basically, from 8:30-10 we wouldn't be charged a cover fee and all the drinks were free.  We got there around 8:45 and left at 10:30 and it was kind of a shit show, albeit a fun shit show. I think at least half the girls that went puked, either at the club, in the cab, or back at Tagore, and thankfully I was not one of those ladies. The next day I don't think a single one of us actually left Tagore and we were all in various stages of hungover, sprawled throughout the common and tv room.
God, I really should've broken this post up into 2 posts, but now I'm nearly done!
The last memorable event of the 3 and a half weeks I've been back took place at a house warming party last Friday. Two of the SIP girls, one from Sweden and one from Canada, opted to not live in Tagore and got an apartment really close to campus. So on Friday they threw a party and invited all of Tagore and some other friends they'd met in classes. The party was really fun and we didn't even stay too late, but for some reason I took it upon myself to drink the entire, small-ish bottle of gin I brought. I was drunk.
As we were walking back the group I was with split up, and I joined the group going to the rock temple that I've always passed but never gone into. We walked inside and everything was fine, until drunk Harper decided she needed to go bouldering. I swear to god, if I had been sober and had my climbing shoes on everything would've been fine, but I didn't, so it wasn't.
I did not successfully make it on top of the rock I was climbing, and when I fell off I landed really badly on my left foot. I sat there for a while, but then got up and limped back to campus. Predictably, I've been told that I didn't allow anyone to help me walk back, which I'm sure did more damage to my already swollen ankle. Once I got back to my room and properly looked at it, it became fairly evident that I needed to seek medical help. My ankle was 2-3 times its normal size, had already bruised to blue and purple, and had a huge knot bulging off the left side. However, I was drunk so I went to sleep.
da bum foot
I woke up on Saturday totally fine, but when I tried to get out of bed I literally fell on my face, since my left leg could support NONE of my weight. So I laid there for a while and kind of tried to hop around my room, but it was comically frustrating. After about 15minutes Marianna came bursting into my room ready to help. Evidently, I had sent her a plea for help the previous night, informing her that we should probably go to the hospital. She helped me get dressed and after lunch she, Terence, and I went to the hospital.
Overall, the experience was more comical than anything just because of how fucking helpless I am. I got an xray at the hospital, so its definitely not fractured, but for all of yesterday I really couldn't use my left leg at all. It's been better today and I can manage to walk on it, but I just look like a cripple and it takes me forever to do anything. Really, I think this will just be a learning experience and hopefully it will encourage future me to ask for help when I need it.
So today, due to my bum ankle, I could not attend Hyderabad's first Pride Parade/Festival with everyone else, so I've been at Tagore... all alone... blogging... and watching the paint dry, metaphorically that is.


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