Day 2 - No School Day (Sickness Part I)

After saying goodnight yesterday, I was able to settle into what amounted to all of about an hour of sleep. Everybody on team at least made an attempt to catch a few z’s, and the results were scattered. Some people were able to snooze in relative comfort; however, Ryan was dismayed to find that it is impossible for his 6’2” frame to fold into a sleepable position.

At 7:45, we emerged from the plane a troop of somnolent zombies. Our time in Dubai was short-lived and mostly uneventful, but the bathroom provided the boys on the trip with their first taste of a real squat toilet. Nobody made full use of it. After an hour in Dubai, we left without having seen the tallest building in the world, the man made islands, or the indoor ski resort. It was a huge let down, to say the least.

We sat through a couple of hours on a flight from Dubai to Chennai, and by 3 AM we were in India. We got off of the plane to find that the Chennai airport was buzzing at 3 in the morning. Little did we know, but it would pale in comparison to what we would find outside. Customs were cleared easily, and not long after getting off of the plane, we were walking out into the warm, sticky Indian air. Our ears were greeted with a symphony of tooting car and moped horns, and our noses were hit by all kinds of foreign smells. We all filed on to what would become our tour bus, and I don’t honestly remember much after that.

Six hours of sleep later, we woke up to our first day in India. We had a spicy breakfast, and visited some temples. At the first temple, we were greeted as something of a novelty by curious onlookers. We snapped some pictures with a couple of monkeys, and then learned about some of the 2000 year old rock carvings. We then took a short bus trip to another temple. When we got off the bus, we were swarmed like the LA Lakers. After a matter of seconds, we had attracted a sizable crowd, and after signing autographs, taking pictures, and shaking hands, we went into the temple. The highlight was when we got individually blessed by a Hindu priest.

From the temple, we left for a little bit of therapeutic shopping. We went to a silk shop, where we got all dressed up in silk scarves, dress shirts, and sarees. The owners of the shop kindly brought around Pepsi, Fanta, and other refreshments, and we went against better judgment when we greedily drank them down. It wasn’t until long after most people had finished their drinks that someone decided to point out that the bottles might have been reused and not carefully washed. For now, we will play the waiting game, but the joke about being sick next week might really become a reality.

After we left the silk shop, we had to cross the street in what most closely resembled a real life, high stakes version of the game Frogger. We risked life and limb crossing the wide, unlaned street as cars, rickshaws, and mopeds swerved to avoid us. When we finally made it back to AGK’s house, most people were already checked out, which meant an early bedtime for everybody except Ben Huppe.

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