I’ve had a few things to do to get started. Get a SIM card, power plug adapters, do some repairs (already).
I was looking forward to a good nights sleep after getting to bed at about 1am local time which is about 5am by my body. And sleep well I did, for a while.
Not sure what time the call to prayer at the mosque next door was, but it got my attention. Then at 8am my body decided it was time to wake up, unfortunately it was 8am at home and 4am here. So sleep deprived I am.
Hyderabad so far is like most Asian cities I have visited, noisy, polluted, grotty. And fascinating.
I am doing my first ever couch surf and caught an auto to Vani’s house. An auto looks like the offspring of a fling between a motor scooter and a 1970s mini minor panel van.
They nearly always have an abundance of people in and hanging out of them. The only vehicles carrying more people are the motor scooters, but that is another post topic.
I have already noticed an Indian cultural trait. A reluctance to admit you don’t know, especially when it come to directions. And my auto driver was another fine example. He waggled his head and assured me he absolutely knew the place, and we agreed on a price.
In the end I think he spent more time stopped and asking people for directions than he did actually driving. And this is a good thing for road safety statistics. Talk about calling out the bluff of other drivers… yikes. A u-turn into oncoming traffic? No worries. Turn a corner without even looking? Of course.
Everyone honks all the time, but unlike back home where it means Get The Fuck Out Of My Way Arsehole, here it seems to mean “watch out, I’m near you”, with ‘near’ being an understatement.
But he got me here and already my first couch surfing experience is awesome.
I walk in and am made instantly welcome. The apartment is packed with about 10 twenty year old guys all making statues of Ganesh out of clay to sell for Ganesh Chaturthi, the big festival I am heading to Mumbai for.
They are going to be selling them somewhere tomorrow and I am going along to help. Instant cultural immersion.
Vani is already on the case with details about an overnight bus to and organising a bed in Bangalore, has my next couple of days planned and is just wonderful.
She speaks excellent English, but most people don’t speak much at all which is a bit of a surprise, and my Hindi sucks or should I say mera hindi kharab hai.