The Wonders of Traveling Through Hyderabad

Authored By:

Laura J.

I put on my favorite kurta and ate a delicious breakfast of sweet rice, tea with sugar, and coconut chutney with dosas made by my host mom. Grabbing my bag, I casually made my way out the door adorned with Ganesh, listening to the school children across the street play outside before their day started. Feeling the dirt already starting to seep in the cracks of my chacos, I walked through the arched gate of my neighborhood and planted myself on the side of the main road. With a half hour to spare until class, I told myself I wouldn’t be late; I told myself I might even have enough time to stop by the ShopCom and get my favorite guava juice box.

9:01 AM
Are you going to stop? Yes? Nope….ok.”

9:02 AM
“Hey, here comes another. Does that rickshaw look full? Darn, it is.” 9:06 AM “Please stop, please stop, please… ok, dude, just drive right past me! Whatever!”

9:11 AM
“I’m going to be so darn late.”

Public transportation in India: a service that is likely to cause a blip in your day; a service that will undoubtedly give you potty mouth; and a service that I am slowly learning to adjust to.

The concept of public transportation is new to me entirely, as I have never before taken buses, trains, taxis, etc. back home. The idea of waving a vehicle down, hoping the driver stops and the seats aren’t full, asking which direction the driver is going (Gachibowli? Lingampally?), bartering a price for the ride (10 rupees, sir!), and screaming for the driver to stop over all of the honking and traffic (stop, here!), is like running a marathon for the first time without any previous training or warming up and stretching your arms and legs before the big race; you think it will be fine, but in reality you end up on bed rest for the next two days. These are the feelings I had traveling by rickshaw the first few times; I started out semi-confident, but then I was stressed, annoyed, and finally, just exhausted.

With over a month under my belt of using public transportation in India, though, I’m finally starting to learn the ropes. I’ve ran so many marathons that I barely even have to stretch my loose muscles anymore!

Learning to adjust to a new concept in a new culture and society is a process, but one that will teach you a lot about yourself and will ultimately be something, at least for the sake of public transportation, that turns into second-hand nature.