Took my first trip to Banjara Hills with no idea where I was going but that I was heading to city center. After doing my homework on Google Maps I was ready or so I thought. First stopped at a chemist to get change and find out which side of the street I was supposed to be on to get to Banjara Hills. Next was finding the right bus. Asked a few people and followed them unto the wrong bus. Paid R15 before finding out that the right bus was right behind us. Kind passengers chatted with me and told me when to get off so I can catch bus 22a. I quickly learned that when taking the bus, the bus does not always stop at the bus stop. People would jog a bit to hop on the bus and when getting off they checked the road. When I got to city center mall I was told to get off right in front of the mall in the left most lane. When I got off, I narrowly missed an oncoming car and motorcycle. The second challenge was finding Rae, Okorite and Francesca's place. They were my hosts for the weekend. I kept asking people and showing the address only to explore the area behind the mall. A kind auto rickshaw driver gave me his number after giving me directions even after I declined a ride. Good thing I declined the ride because he pointed me in the wrong direction. He offered to take me to the good shopping areas next time I'm at city center. I may take him up on the offer since I have a wedding to attend next week. Rae kindly met me at the mall and showed me to their place. Arham met up with us and we all crowded into an auto rickshaw to head out to dinner. After a long dinner which was worth it since the food was good, we hung out at the girls apartment until Arham left. The couch was a good bed. The next day I had my meeting with Apurva and Soumya which was moved from 3pm to 12pm with a text at 8am. The meeting went well and my to do list increased. More things for me to learn while doing. Afterwards was a semi pleasant meeting with an IDEX staff. After being lectured about why one should't complain in a public forum we went out for lunch. Lunch went well I had the Indian version of a scallion pancake. We visited a nearby temple where I waited outside with Okorite. Some of the young guys came up to talk to us being really friendly and curious where we were from. Night 2 consisted of staying in and hanging out. Day 3 was my trip back home on Sunday morning. Made the same mistake of getting on the wrong bus and seeing the right bus behind me. This time it was impatience since I knew what bus to get on. I did see a camels walk by while I was at the bus stop.
Got some potatoes from a street vendor and walked home since I didn't know if the complex bus was running. Almost got chased by a street dog. Two dogs barking angrily at me invokes flight but I couldn't outrun the dog. So panicking I turned around to see the dogs stand their ground. A guy nearby calmed the dogs down and I was able to continue my walk. Did some laundry and it is not fun hand washing sheets and towels. I prefer machine dried towels to air dry but that is a luxury I will be doing without. Learning to navigate on my own and first experience living on my own outside the states and getting a mix of developed and developing world experience.