traveling to India is not for the faint of heart... Packing Monday was miserable (ask Jake or Lisa who had to deal with most of the ridiculousness). Jenna and I met at the airport at about 8am Tuesday. We took a flight to Chicago where we were supposed to have a 1.5 hr layover before flying to Newark. For some reason, our flight to Newark was canceled. We got to spend close to 9 hours in the Newark airport. I know, you are all so jealous!
Flight out to Newark around 8, got to the Fairfield Inn (thanks to Jenna's dad letting us use his points!) and were asleep around 12. Long morning Wednesday (good news, bad news when you have a lot of time to fret about moving to India) we ate breakfast, lounged, watched the US Women's soccer match... Checked out and got to the airport at 3ish where we met up with lovely Kim Campbell.
Flew from Newark to Brussels (7 hrs) where two bottles (smallish) of water were 7.20 euros. And then an 8 hr flight to Mumbai where we had an 8 hr layover until our 7:35 am fight to Hyderabad. WAY to much time to over analyze this decision...in a strange place in the middle of the night on VERY little sleep. Very thankful to have had travel buddies who helped remind me of why we were doing this.
Landed in HYDERABAD 9am Friday morning. Both bags made it, although one is now missing a wheel...Picked up at the airport in a small car. Quite hysterical watching this guy try to fit 3 women's suitcases packed with 10 months worth of stuff in a little hatchback... Our apartment still isn't ready for us, so we went to another apartment and hung out where the weight of no sleep and being somewhere so different hit.
BUT then we got out and explored and it was totally insane. Loved it- got cell phones, ate some Subway, and then took a nap on a friend's doorstoop, woken up by little girls from across the way. And Friday night the IDEX group got together for dinner and drinks in one group's house in Secunderabad - Rooftop drinking in India. Crazy surreal! Then it started to rain because it is monsoon season, so we hopped an auto rickshaw to a hotel for the night. Don't even get my started on communicating with them and trying to give directions in a city that we don't know, that doesn't have any street signs... My lungs are going to hate me from breathing all of the dirt, dust, and fumes. Lots of fumes.
Conclusions: I will always pay an extra couple hundred dollars to ensure it doesn't take 5 planes and 40 hours. Having a way to communicate with loved ones makes being in India WAY more fun. Hoping to FINALLY get settled and unpack in our apartment sometime today (Saturday) and have time to figure out renting a stove and getting wireless internet...