Two words to describe Day 2.
Fuck was it hot. It had to be over 100 + humidity today. The good thing was that we woke up and decided to venture out and check out Hyderabad this morning. This was after I managed to score about 5 hours of sleep. Not nearly enough, though it felt good.
Being the thrifty people we are, we had bfast in the hotel since it was included (insert “me being cheap” jokes here). Pretty decent buffet and we left with full stomachs.
We decided not to take a car from the hotel that would inevitably follow us around everywhere and hover. Instead, we went to the street and grabbed a tuc tuc to take us to Laad Bazaar — several streets of outdoor markets selling everything from fabric to jewelry to the famed Hyderabad Pearls.
The ride to Laad (about 15-20 minutes from the hotel) was interesting. I’m going to take the Flip with me tomorrow to capture it but think of chaotic streets, overfilled with cars and tuc tucs and motorcycles of all sizes, add in people wandering across the streets everywhere you turn, and then top it off with no traffic lights or even traffic rules for that matter, and you have driving in India. It’s madness.
We dodged oncoming cars all the way to Laad where we jumped out and started to wander through the dusty, heat-radiating streets. (side note: You may be wondering what about the doctor? We had the day off today. Donor had to just give herself a shot, I had to make sure and not “release” my part of the deal, if you know what I mean. I get to do that tomorrow.)
First stop was a shop that sold purses and bags. Every type you could think of, apart from the designer lines. We were escorted upstairs by the friendly staff to what I thought for sure was going to be like the back rooms in NY where my parents buy the best knock offs you’ve ever seen. Nope, it was just cooler up there as they had fans and chairs for us to sit in while they showed us the collection. Donor walked out with four small ones and a medium-sized one. All very cool. And I got us a good deal (of course).
We wandered a bit steering clear of the begging women with babies in their arms. Tempting. Sad. But can’t help every one of them.
Next stop was scarves and shoes. Donor looked through a ton, they unfolded everything with great excitement, awaiting the looks on our faces to see if they should push the sell or not. We ended up not buying anything, but got to see some really great designs for women to cover their shoulders and head with.
The heat at this point was oppressive. For real. It was making us a bit delirious. So what better place to pop into than the pearl store. You may not know but Hyderabad is also known as the City of Pearls and is home to one of the largest pearl drilling centers in India. This makes for an amazing bargain that you can’t get anywhere else in the world. Donor and I both walked out with some great gifts. And she has an incredible Jackie O necklace now. In the midst of us checking out all the variations of pearls, the shop owners brought us a refreshing drink. It was over ice and looked cool and refreshing so we were respectful (and in need of something cool) and drank it. It was sugar cane juice– made right out in front by squeezing the juice out of a sugar cane. Ice probably wasn’t the best move. But we were desperate. Hope our stomachs don’t mind.
We wanted to grab some lunch and sit in some AC to cool off a bit. After taking a tuc tuc to the wrong train station (we found a bar/pub in our guidebook that was near a train station), we ended up heading back to the hotel for lunch and pool/work time.
It’s definitely monsoon season. Just after we got back and sat down in our now “regular” restaurant, the doors to the hotel blew open and the monsoon rains started. Buckets and buckets of water came down. I decided to go out to the pool and sit under an umbrella (peaceful). Donor decided the room and a nap was more up her alley. The rain stopped after maybe 20 minutes, some sun came out and I spent a few hours working on my computer, out by the pool.
Not a whole lot more to report after that. We grabbed dinner in the hotel again, since it was included (we get breakfast AND lunch or dinner). Good food. We listened to the 80s American hits that the Piano Man was singing in the restaurant and that made us even more sleepy than we already were. No desert tonight. Just back up to our rooms to finish up some work, write this blog, and crash.
Tomorrow, we are back to the doc to see how things have progressed so far. Fingers are crossed. My stomach is telling me I’m anxious. And nervous.
Of course, I could just blame it on the sugar cane.