When I first landed in India it was a cool 24 degrees as we had been previously warned by the crew that it was a bit chilly
I’m sure it’s cliquey but the first thing I felt was the heat combined with the morning fog as it clung to us, this might sound odd but the air smelt thicker – I honestly couldn’t try and explain that but it did.
We landed about 6.30 Indian time and then found Abhilash who took us to find a bus to take us to the Kodali quest house where we would be staying for two days. It’s odd, but even when waiting for a bus it still didn’t feel real that I was in India and would be for the next 11 months.
The hour bus ride was definitely a new experience, when we first left the airport I was surprised by how green it was but the closer we got to Hyderabad, the dustier and louder it got. We saw what I thought was incredibly strange, but I guess it’s just the norm here for example, a few cows were just laying on the equivalent of a B road and it was probably one of the weirdest traffic jams I’ve seen. A woman was just having a small fire at the side of the road and everyone was crossing fast roads anywhere they could.
Once we arrived at the Kodali quest house we were told to rest for the rest of the day which I did gladly with a 6 hour nap
Another thing I have realised I am going to have to get used to is the concept of time, there is no rush to arrive when you have been asked to get there. We discovered this when we all arrived for dinner 5 minutes before we were meant to and Abhilash didn’t arrive until 45 minutes later.
Abhilash drove me, Catherine (my partner for the next year) Molly and Eilidh to the train station which was a whole new level of different. On the drive we were asking about what it is actually like driving around India and he came out with my favourite description “it’s like the hardest level of Mario cart, but with only one life”
So I am currently sitting on the train to Ongole which is such a different experience to any train I have ever been on. We are on a second AC sleeper train meaning I’m not overheating too much! I am on the lower bunk which folds into two seats so me and Catherine are just relaxing looking out the window in to India. Only another 8 hours to go!
Seven hours in and the time had come, I had to use a toilet and that was a change from what I am used to to say the least. Just the fact that it was a squatting toilet was a something to adjust to but when the train is moving from side to side makes it a whole new challenge
We woke up in the room that would be ours for the next year and this realisation mixed with everything being new was a hard thing to deal with but once we were out of the house and looking around the school we were both feeling better.
The head teacher took us round all of the classes and introduced us to all of the teachers individually. Everyone was very friendly and intrigued to know where abouts we were from. I now just have the job of learning everyone’s name which will be difficult.
We will be watching in on some classes for the rest of the day and hopefully tomorrow before we get our timetables and are thrown into the world of being a teacher!