Day 26 (Wednesday, May 28): Shopping Spree

Woke up around 8am. Walked to breakfast with Anna and Lauren: omelet, curried mashed potatoes with onions, and bread with peanut butter that Lauren brought from Ohio. Nice memories of home filled my taste buds. Adam sent me his essay around 2:30am last night, the time when I fell asleep. I told him I’m almost done and should be able to send my paper in a couple hours. Purchased orange juice after breakfast and went back to room.

I turned off the AC in my room and turned the fan on high to make the temperature more comfortable. I was in the zone with the paper and completed 75% of it by lunch. The process of editing Adam’s was helpful for me to gain a better grasp of how to structure the paper and the type of writing style to use.

Lunch: two rotis, barley rice, squash curry, paneer tofu-like balls in yellow sauce, and another yellow curry. Went back to room to work some more. I was surprisingly very productive. I sent Adam’s reviewed paper back to him. He thanked me and I told him my goal is to finish before tea time. That didn’t quite happen, but I read some interesting sources, one of which mentioned OSU. Apparently, we helped develop an oral pill that’s in clinical trial to treat Leishmaniasis. So cool! I can’t wait to share that with everyone.

Left for tea time around 4:35pm. Ran into Sahanna and Sesen as they were getting on the elevator. I met up with Lauren and Kelsey on the 5th floor and we updated each other about our papers. Kelsey is done and Lauren just got done, but hasn’t edited yet. The snack was bread garnished with curried spiced onions and other ingredients. I enjoyed it – tasted like roasted pork buns that are popular in Chinese cuisine. Adam said he should have read his own paper before he gave it to me because he’s embarrassed by all the grammatical errors. I told him that’s the fun part. We talked about going to Udupi later for a last shopping trip. I wanted to buy elephant figurines and check out the gold store and Fab India. Adam was excited to go to the gold store also. Bought vanilla and chocolate soft serve ice cream with Taniqua for 20 rupees. Yum. I could eat ice cream all day every day. I took a picture and Paul was making fun of me that I could easily get the same thing in the US, but I said it’s all about the context. Haha.

IMG_5699Almost everyone in our group planned to go to Udupi after tea. They all left the cafeteria, while Lauren, Kelsey, and I waited with Adam for his friend, Fahad. Sesen strolled in and said she just woke up from a nap. We talked about her online anatomy class, and I wanted to share the Michigan Medical School practical site that was helpful when I took anatomy. Adam ended up leaving the cafeteria to search for Fahad. Sesen isn’t going to Udupi because she still needs to work on her essay and the online anatomy class has started already.

Kelsey, Lauren, and I caught a rickshaw to Vedas. Lauren bought one kurti, while Kelsey and I sat on chairs and gave feedback. Then, we walked around the block to find the temple stores. We emerged in the circular plaza and saw some of our people. It was Anna, Sahanna, and a couple others. Then, we turn to our left and see Adam, Drew, and Fahad. I was so happy to see all of them. Adam asked if we’ve gone to the gold store yet. We hadn’t, but I still needed to buy elephant figurines, so Adam took me there first. I bought three elephants and one camel. We reached the gold store where Lauren purchased her nose ring, but they were closing up shop as we approached. Adam took us to Bhima instead, the one where Sesen bought her nose ring.

10440736_891230427570400_5659176578165896505_nThankfully, they were still open. The uniformed doorman held the large glass door open for us and we were greeted by a crowd of women. One nodded and said “Namaste”. I told her I am looking for earrings. She pointed the way for us to go upstairs. Another woman greeted us at the top and asked, “what are you looking for?” Me- “earrings.” She questioned, “silver?” Me- “yes.” The girls and I took a seat before a counter. The boys followed and Adam inquired about watches. The man said they did have some and the boys went to check them out. Kelsey and I were both looking for silver earrings. They brought out two cases of earrings with varying designs: apples, unique architectural patterns, hearts, bows, studs, flowers. I ended up buying an extremely shiny flower design for 410 rupees – such a good price. Kelsey picked a circular one. We were told to go back downstairs to pay. The boys came back and didn’t like the three watches they were shown. I asked how much it was. Adam said 10,000. I had about 5,000-6,000 rupees left at that point. We waited for a little bit, asked Adam to take a picture of Kelsey and I, signed contracts, paid, and received our earrings in a red box enveloped in a sparkly bag that was placed in their store bag.

IMG_5700Then, we were ready to catch a rickshaw to Fab India. Adam told us girls to get in one along the street that we were walking on, but Fahad informed us that they are not allowed to pick anyone up mid-street and that you need to go to a stand. We walked a little further up and encountered the stand. The street was very busy for crossing, so I passively waited as Fahad and Adam watched the traffic. Fahad helped us tell the rickshaw driver that we wanted to go to KFC, which was easier to say than Fab India.

The boys got there a little before us. They went to a store called Fasttrack first. Adam purchased a wallet and watch. The way the store workers intently watch you in department stores makes me feel self-conscious. I am learning to adapt, but it’s still a weird feeling. I went through all the small-sized shirts and found six articles of clothing that I wanted to try on. I fell in love with a white and green kurti. It’s pretty sheer, but I brought a tank top that I could wear with it. I decided I’m going to wear it tomorrow for the farewell dinner! The other one I decided to buy was the red chili pepper design shirt that I tried on the first time I went to Fab India. I’m going to wear this one for the plane ride. So comfy! The boys came in and I sought out their help with guy clothes. They are obsessed with Fab India and have bought 5+ articles of clothing from there. They found me a blue long-sleeve button-up. I liked it and ended up buying it for Arif, who’s birthday is coming up. Adam persuaded Fahad to buy something, despite him saying this store wasn’t his style. It was a shirt that Adam had bought. Kelsey bought a 1700 rupee blue sheer shirt, which looked amazing on her. Lauren bought a kurti. I had a conversation with one of the workers or manager. Him- “do you like your internship?” Me- “we’re studying abroad here. We’re leaving on Saturday and have been here for a month already.” Kelsey and Lauren were looking at their beauty products and teas. Thank goodness because I ended up buying jasmine tea and vanilla mango tea. I love tea and can’t wait to try it. In total, my purchase cost around 2,400 rupees. Adam said he needs to leave some clothes here because he can’t fit everything in his luggage.

IMG_1431We decided to walk back to Manipal instead of catching a rickshaw. It was about a 15-minute walk. We ate dinner in the cafeteria. Adam- “how do you feel about making a dent in your wallet?” Me- “I feel happy because I needed to spend it the rupees somehow.” He said he’s glad he was part of the experience. Xhonela talked about how her paper is too long and Adam mentioned I am having that problem too, but he added he’s gonna help me out. On the walk back to our hostels, we were talking about collecting bags from stores. Adam likes to do that with diverse places he’s been. Often times, he would buy something small just to get the bag. I said to him, “why are we the same person?” because I collect bags too. I’ve kind of stopped, but I still have the tendency. He thinks he influenced his sister because she collects Hollister bags. I did that too and still have like 50 at home. Drew mentioned he used to have a stack of shoe boxes. Adam- “glad to know we’re all hoarders.” Haha! I shared I use my shoe boxes for storage. Adam- “I collect past school papers.” Me- “Oh my gosh. I do too. I have some from Kindergarten.” Adam- “I keep all the birthday cards and notes that I’ve gotten” because he feels bad about throwing them away. Me- “I have a box with all of that stuff and it’s nice to look back on it years later.” I guess we are both very sentimental people. Then, the guys and girls were parting ways as the girls’ hostel neared. A car was coming, so I was still walking with Adam and Drew. Adam jokingly said, “Ellen’s coming to the guys’ hostel tonight”. Me- “there’s a car, I can’t cross”. Hahah I’m going to miss nights like these back in the states – worry-free adventures and soul friends.

Back at the hostel, I put away my purchases, washed clothes, showered, and finished editing my paper. I finally sent the paper to Adam and he analyzed it really critically.

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