Monday, March 25, 2013


My original plan when arranging my posting at CMC was to lay aside time at the end for recreational travel. I had not intended to do much traveling on the weekends during my posting as I wasn’t sure how feasible that would be. After arriving here and slipping into the routine of life as an international student, I realized that there was opportunity for weekend travel if I so desired. At the beginning, I took the first few weekends to settle in my new home or to travel close by (Chennai) to visit friends for the day. I adopted the CMC work schedule by working half days on Saturday, not because I had to (it is optional for international students) but because I really enjoy working here. That being said, I was dragged (almost kicking and screaming) to Mysore the second weekend of the month.

Our train

Street scene from Mysore... just because I think blogs without photos are boring. 

Mysore is a beautiful city with plenty to see and do. I really had no reason to not want to go. No reason other than I really didn’t want to leave Vellore and the opportunity to spend time with my friends there. However, the opportunity to see other sights in India prompted me to board the train late Friday night. We spent the night on the train. My experience this time being much like my first night on a train, only with a touch more sleep.

We arrived in Mysore around seven in the morning, and headed directly into the heart of the city to scavenge breakfast. After refueling, we set a tentative plan for our weekend away. Today: spice market, palace, silk factory and gardens. Tomorrow: hills, relaxation, and palace by twilight. The plan was simple, and we all agreed on it. “We all” being myself, Charlie, Jonas (German medical student), Maaike (Dutch medical student) and Luise (German [?] medical student). Because it is thought that pictures are worth a thousand words, I will try to keep my verbiage down and elaborate with photos. (See following posts for details on Mysore.)

A learned a few things on my weekend trip to Mysore. First, I do not do “tourism” well. It doesn’t suit me much. I much prefer to see and experience the everyday life of people. I want to see and know their routines, what makes them laugh, cry, become excited, nervous or scared. I think of the people I’ve grown to know and love here in Vellore and I can answer some of those questions. I’m privy to some of the inside jokes and banter that volleys around this unique community of therapists.

Secondly, when I do venture out into the world of tourism, it is best done with a group of people you get on well with. I am pleased that the five of us Mysore travelers all had similar expectations from the trip as well as similar tastes for travel. I’ve heard stories of other international students traveling who didn’t get on so well with their crowd. It didn’t end well. The five of us enjoyed each other’s company. We got frustrated together. We laughed together. We did “tourism” well together.

Maaike, Charlie, Luise

The lone male, Jonas. He knew how to hold his own... 
Thirdly, when doing weekend travel in India, you really don’t need much more than a pair of clean undergarments, a tooth brush, and baby wipes. You’re going to feel hot, sticky, sweaty, and (likely) smelly. Changing clothes and showering only help for about the first fifteen minutes afterward. Pack light, you won’t have to haul around a load of clothes that way either!

The hostel we stayed in on the one night of three that we weren't traveling! 
Mysore was a fine experience indeed. I do not regret going, but I’m not sure I would go again. 

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