Sorry for the late post! You will find out what took me so long
Monday ended up being a bit hectic for me since we had just gotten back from Agra. After showering I headed to the lab to find my professor so that I could get my design approved and begin the fabrication process. As I walked into the building he was walking out, I asked him when he would be free and he said after class. I then realized this was the class he had told me to attend so I quickly followed him to the classroom. After class I was able to pull up my design and he recommended a few small changes but otherwise approved the design. I headed to lunch with Jen since we hadn’t eaten yet and I was starving! Afterwards, I spent the rest of the day making the adjustments and then went over to the fabrication lab. I ended up staying there until 7 pm going through the files to make sure everything was in order. After doing so I headed back to my room to finish my leftovers from lunch and I then crashed for the night.
Tuesday morning I once again had some issues with the food here. I was rudely awoken by my stomach at about 6 am and consequently spent the next few hours tasting my dinner from the night before or at least what was left of it. Jen had similar problems so I’m guessing we just had a bad lunch/dinner. I stopped at the 4i (fabrication) lab first thing to check on the progress of my model. I discovered that the RP machine that would be making my model was broken, something having to do with the x-axis. I was told to come back after lunch to see if it would be fixed by then so I proceeded to kill time until I could go back. I wrote a few post cards and then went to the post office to send them. Jen, Isabel, & I met at the shopping center to check on our sari’s etc and afterwards I headed back to the 4i lab. There were still problems but they would hopefully have them fixed by the next morning. I went to the structures lab and met with Jen for dinner, we went to CCD since I wasn’t in the mood for any Indian food. I hung out with her in the structures lab for a bit afterwards before heading to the VH for the night.
Wednesday morning I again stopped in the 4i lab first thing and was told the company they were contacting about the issues hadn’t gotten back to them yet and to come back after lunch. I headed to the lab to wait for lunch. Dr. Poddar stopped in the lab and said that if it wasn’t started by Thursday morning we would have to look into other options. I went back to the 4i lab that afternoon and they informed me they had received a response from the company but needed to send them more information and they would have an answer the next morning. I had made plans with Jen to go swimming that evening so I headed back to my room to change and meet her there. The pool felt amazing as always! On our way back to the VH we stopped and got some fruit which I ate for dinner since I wasn’t feeling the whole solid Indian food yet.
Thursday morning I of course did what I had been doing all week, stopped at the lovely 4i lab. They hadn’t heard back yet from the company but told me they should know more after lunch. After lunch I received some sad news, the RP machine was broken and it would remain broken for about a month. I couldn’t do anything about it so I headed to meet with Isabel so we could go shopping for pasta and other American type food stuffs. The Americans in our group were all planning on a 4th celebration which included cooking the most American food we could find. After shopping I took a short nap because I was tired for some reason.
A knock on my door woke me up and I assumed it was Isabel, I stumbled to the door with my sleepy eyes. Surprise surprise it was a mail man with a big box all for me!!!! I was sooo excited and I proceeded to eat too much candy… I ran off to the kitchen with my new found sweets and sat there while Jen and Isabel slaved away in the kitchen, I provided moral support and occasionally helped with things like cutting apples. We invited the structures lab to come to the party so they could all try some authentic-ish American food. It ended up being a hit and Blake read the Declaration of Independence for us all. It was an awesome night of celebrating America’s birthday with all of our friends. Being in another country definitely added a whole new element to it and made me more appreciative and proud of the country I am from. While I am not exactly proud of where it is currently or its flawed history I am still proud of where I came from.
Enjoying food and company!
Friday was graduation at IIT-Kanpur and the president of India was scheduled to come for the convocation. I was going to try and brave the traffic in order to get to the lab and ask Dr. Poddar what I could do since the RP machine wasn’t going to be working in time. I made it by 10:30 but the lab was deserted and I realized that my attempts were in vain. I found out he would be back in the lab by 3 pm, after graduation was over. I headed back to my room and just hung out there for the morning, snacking on my new delicious snacks. At 3, I headed to the lab to see what I could do about the model. Dr. Poddar decided he would call around and see if any other labs in the area would be able to fabricate it for me. (Yay!) I sent the files to him and he forwarded them to a few different places. Since I was going to be gone for 5 days he asked me to stop by the next morning before leaving to make sure everything was set. I then went to the structures lab where they were broadcasting the graduation part of graduation (the speeches were done). I hung out there for a couple hours educating Venky on TAMU traditions and then went to hall 7 for dinner with the Americans. After eating dinner I went back to my room to pack for the trip the next morning.
Saturday I woke up early, showered, ate breakfast and ran off to the lab to meet with Dr. Poddar. The taxi was scheduled to pick us up at 10 am so I knew I needed to be gone from the lab by 9:45, unfortunately Dr. Poddar didn’t arrive until later so I didn’t get the opportunity to double check everything before I left. I went to the structures lab to make sure our tickets were printed off, and wait as long as I could before I had to leave in case Dr. Poddar arrived. He didn’t and I ended up heading back to my room to gather my things. We (Jen, Gregy, 3 other aeros, & I) headed off to the airport, we successfully made it to Bangalore without any problems.
Once we landed we split up into 2 groups, Gregy came with me & Jen to make sure we made it to our hotel without any issues. We promptly dropped our stuff off in the room and went to have dinner since we were pretty hungry. We went to this restaurant next to our hotel and it was delicious, we had some chicken and some drinks. Gregy left around 11 to go check into his hotel and we went to bed for the night.
Sunday morning came all too quickly, we left for Mysore at 5:30 am so that we could come back early enough for Jen’s friends to rest before work on Monday. Two of them, Joe and Nandan, are Indian TAMU graduates and the third, Steve, is currently doing the same program she is but in he is in Bangalore for the summer. True to my nature, I slept most of the way to Mysore except to take pictures of the scenery and once we got there we stopped for breakfast. We all had dosa’s for breakfast, they were pretty good! I ate all of mine since I was pretty hungry.
After breakfast we decided to go to the Chamundi Hills since the palace wouldn’t be open for touring until later. We drove up up up through the “hills” (basically a mountain) and eventually made it to the top. This is what we were greeted with upon arrival:
I’m not really sure who he’s supposed to be but he was apparently important since there was a statue of him. We wandered around taking pictures and looking like your typical tourists, of course I stuck out since I had blonde hair. We walked up to the temple, snapped a few pictures and then took pictures of Mysore from the top!
On our way down the hill we stopped to take these pictures and we were stopped by a family who wanted pictures with us, of course we obliged like usual. Later that day we ended up seeing them a few more times while we were at the palace.
We all piled back into the car and headed off to the palace, we went looking for parking and some guy on the street told us the palace wasn’t opened yet (lies). I’m still not sure why he lied to us about it but it may have something to do with the fact that we didn’t buy anything from him. Eventually we found some parking and we were immediately surrounded by street vendors waving little fans in our faces claiming it was made of sandalwood. Joe informed us it was most likely fake and they had put a scent on the wood to make us think that it was real. We marched through them all and bought tickets while one guy would not stop trying to sell us things but we declined the whole time. We finally made it inside the gates and found out that we would not be allowed to take pictures inside of the palace. -_- We also had to take our shoes off, typical here so that didn’t surprise me at all.
We proceeded into the castle/palace dealio, it was really cool and had a lot of awesome architecture and beautiful colors. Since we weren’t allowed cameras inside you will just have to take my word for it. Also there was elephant & camel rides available but we decided not to do them. After touring this first building we made our way to the residence buildings for the royalty and toured that one also. The palace was definitely better than the housing but they were both really cool. There was a jaguar sculpture outside in the front area that we posed with, he caught me by the neck. I’m not sure how that happened.
After we were finished playing around at the palace we piled back into the car and headed back to Bangalore. Before we left the city we passed St. Philomena’s church and snapped a few pictures.
On our way I again slept but did wake up momentarily to take pictures of the sugar cane.
Nandan dropped Steve, Jen & me off at our respective hotels. Since it was my birthday, Gregy came all the way over from his hotel to give me and Jen a birthday card as well as a goodbye gift! He couldn’t stay long because the buses didn’t run all night long so he dropped them off, hung out for a bit and then headed back to his place. Jen & I went to the restaurant in our hotel for dinner after he left and we were pleasantly surprised by the word “bacon” on the menu. We quickly discovered it was just a teaser and they didn’t actually have any there. They did however have “burgers” made of chicken.
Jen got a fish dish with a lemon butter sauce and some mashed potatoes and veggies. We ordered chocolate ice cream for dessert and I opened my card(s) & our chocolate! Yum!
It was a great end to an awesome day, since this concludes the “week” I’m posting this one now. I will continue the next chapter and have that one done hopefully by tomorrow so I can post it!