Hyderabad and a breach of etiquette

I dressed conservatively for my trip but made a poor choice today in wearing my skirt with bare legs.

I ought to have done the research ahead of time but since I am middle-aged, the skirt falls below my knee, and I don’t otherwise dress provocatively it didn’t occur to me to check about bare legs.

I became aware of the issue only when noticing that NONE of the other women in the office were bare-legged.

Falls into the category of thoughtless things Anglos do when traveling.

In praise of lentils

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I’m a bit embarrassed to admit that I hadn’t heard of lentils until my friend Nina introduced me to them about 17 years ago.

In subsequent years I gave grown quite fond of lentils, and they have been a mainstay of my diet during this visit to India. They can be cooked in a variety of ways, are delicious, and satiate the appetite in a way that puts me in a drowsy, happy glow.

I hadn’t really thought much about this until my current trip. A few years ago I realized that I’m a picky eater so I was a bit concerned I might not find enough to eat during this trip – and then I recalled this friendly, reassuring legume. Come on over, it said to me. And so I went.

The only disadvantage is that they are so filling, I find myself unable to eat dessert.

To sleep, to dream

Up at 3:30 am, I made a classic mistake of not checking whether my flight to Hyderabad was on time. In fact, it was quite delayed and I’ve spent 4 hours at the IGI Airport drinking (very good) coffee and struggling to get a wifi signal (I lost that battle).

Sleep deprivation is a classic torture method, so I have been unkind to myself.

Gurgaon: Room With a View

I returned to my hotel early today as I catch an unbearably early-morning flight to Hyderabad tomorrow and decided that burning the proverbial midnight oil the previous two nights meant I ought to get some extra rest today.

I intended to nap then get some dinner, but feeling a bit claustrophobic I opened the curtains and all thought of sleep was banished when I saw the cows across the street.

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I have a fear of cows. They are a large and not highly intelligent beast, so I perceive them as dangerous to my rather small self. From a safe distance, however, they amuse.

This led to exploring the other bits of view, such as a pretty-looking house in the near distance, beyond a slight haze of ever-present smoke.

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Adjacent to the urban farmland which hosted the above-pictured cows, it is difficult to imagine that at one time these interesting shop fronts were new, bright and cheery.

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Tomorrow morning when I take a brief visit to Hyderabad, I expect to discover new fodder for my senses and my imagination.

Good morning, Gurgaon

India has been described to me as a third-world country, but I’d hesitated to accept that characterization because of the pejorative. However, this is the view from my 3-star hotel room.

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A view like this is why good photography skills are useful. There’s an interesting narrative to be shared in the smoggy and foggy morning: figures sifting through a pile of debris, the peeling paint on local flat-tops reminding one of an ancient auntie whose lipstick has bled.

In speaking with a colleague last night, I commented that what I’ve seen in my short journey is that Gurgaon is a blending of the old and new, smack-dab adjacent so the spiffy high rise abuts a decrepit house where the yard is littered with garbage.

And the smell of smoke permeates everything.

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