this was the original reason why i had my Indian visa made many months ago: Hyderabad! due to aircraft delays and crappy timing, i wasn't able to fly to India in April =(. heck, i even made a list of places of interest to visit once i was there:
i used my visa three months later to visit Mumbai in July and August (talk about Mumbai overkill lol). this month, the husband finally had Hyderabad in his roster. asked me if i wanted to go? =D.
|third flight out using the same visa|
the Captain said was bewildered as to why i would want to follow them to Hyderabad, because even his wife declined tagging along for the trip. to me if given the choice, Hyderabad would not make it into my list of top ten must-visit destinations, but since there was an opportunity to go, why not? lol.
that being said, i am patiently waiting for the husband to get Japan or Australia on his roster =D, whenever that will be. he usually prefers to swap long flights away for shorter routes *rolls eyes*.
i got lucky this time and got upgraded to Business to and fro. i would say the pros of being seated in Business in a narrow body would be you get a roomier seat and more leg room. you get priority boarding, priority lanes and whatnot. and maybe better choices of food depending on how picky you are. oh but the airline's hospitality in business is awesome i tell you =D
i was previously under the impression that business class lavatories were much larger than economy; they're the same actually (balloon deflating sound), the only pro being that you only share with less than 20 people as compared to more than 100 people in economy on a full flight. #toiletwoes #haha
there's not much to do anyway on night flights except to sleep or watch a movie; so i chose to watch Me Before You. now i'm tempted to read the book. i heard there's an After You book sequel too, i must get my hands on this as well. i don't really like to read e-books, i spend too much time at work already just staring at the computer screen that i feel like i'm getting cross-eyed.
i borrowed this book (in the photo below) from my sister with the intention of reading this inflight but i forgot how much i d-i-s-l-i-k-e Lemony Snicket; his stories are a frustrating read, and he loves to set everything on fire T___T grrrrr a few pages in and already i felt like chucking the book out the plane window if i could open one. i remembered how frustrating it was when i was reading A Series of Unfortunate Events, a tale about the Baudelaire siblings. everything was miserable and when a mystery was about to be explained/solved, something or someone gets burnt down to the ground... the end. 5 books are currently published for the All The Wrong Questions series. i hope i never encounter the other four in bookstores, bahahhahaha.
we landed in Hyderabad past midnight, so i went ahead to clear immigration just in case there was a long queue, even though late night arrivals usually meant lesser passengers. unfortunately wifi connectivity sucked at the airport and i forgot where the crew stays in Hyderabad (i had to fill this up in the immigration form) so i ended up waiting for the crew to disembark anyways T_T. it was raining when we landed in Hyderabad. did you know their hotel is almost 55 minutes away from the airport? jauh betul @_@.
|situated nearby the Hussain Sagar Lake|
|door to the bathroom|
|got bathtub! but forgot to bring Lush bombs|
day off in Hyderabad
i was up and early the next day, haha.
this is the first time i had breakfast with someone else other than just me, hahahhaha.the Captain came down first, followed by another three crew members. the husband came down last after telling him a bunch of his colleagues was down here with me. i don't know much about Indian food, so it was a pleasant surprise tasting Puri for the first time, only because Nabilah had it and i got curious, lol. i don't know how they make it, but they're very big and fluffy!
Puri is an unleavened deep-fried Indian bread, commonly consumed on the Indian subcontinent. It is eaten for breakfast or as a snack or light meal. It is usually served with a curry or bhaji, as in Puri bhaji.
|puri. this was my first try of this here|
|chai. almond milk. some sort of waffle.|
|masala, which tasted more or less like teh tarik|
|captain and co-pilot|
the crew wanted to do abit of shopping so yayyyyy i got to tag along. the last time i went sightseeing in India i roamed the streets of Mumbai all by myself because the rest of the crew was nowhere to be seen. probably they valued their sleep more than sightseeing (or probably they traveled too much already that it was getting a bit old haha). so at 11am the five of us waited at the lobby for the hotel shuttle to bring us to the Sucenderabad General Bazaar, which was about 15 minutes away from the hotel. the inital plan was to go to Charminar (which was 30 minutes away), but because of the Ganesh Chaturthi festival currently going on, they decided to go shop someplace nearer to avoid potential traffic jam in the area. in Hyderabad it's a norm for people to honk excessively; in Malaysia however, some of us take it very personally, lol. and i thought driving in Jakarta was bad.
|got Uber here|
it was slightly drizzling when we arrived, and i was the only one that brought an umbrella (after experiencing Mumbai weather, it didn't hurt to bring an umbrella to Hyderabad eh lol). there are tons and tons of stores here where you can get practically everything, from sarees to bangles to lace, you name it. a typical street at the General Bazaar looks like in the photo below:
|streets of the General Bazaar|
Kajel wanted to get a bunch of kain for her sister, or what you call Salwar Suits (i think that's what they're called, i just googled the term), which are usually sold as a three-piece set: 2.5m top, 2.25m bottom, and the 'selendang'. you then tailor it to a design of your liking. they come in so many designs and colors and in so many different types of material, you'd be crazy not to fall in love with each one.
|for the cloth lovers|
|kain lots of kain|
they even sell lace (lace?) you know, lace that you use to border the linings of your sleeves and outfits to add more bling to them. Kajel tells me they sell them really cheap here compared to back in Malaysia. even Nabilah purchased a couple of laces for herself. there were so many pretty ones to choose from i ended up buying nothing from the store aiyahhhhh.
|picking out lace (lace?)|
after Razi purchased his curtains, he and the husband took an early shuttle back to the hotel, stopping to buy lamb briyani on the way back. the three of us continued exploring the area. we met a cow busy doing her shopping at a sundry shop... looking for a new mop or two to mop up milky messes at home no doubt. haha.
|cows can shop too|
one thing that was difficult to find here was a) money changer, and b) public washroom. at one point i reeeeeealllyyy had to go to the bathroom but each and every store we asked said they didn't have one T__T. not many of the locals could speak proper English so we weren't sure whether they even understood us. where do these people go to toilet anyway???? we eventually found a toilet but it was more of an open area divided by cemented walls catered for men, you know what i mean. a bit unhygienic really ewwwwwww. i guess the locals simply go back home to pee if they had to. lucky them, poor tourists.
we eventually found a store owner on the second-floor who allowed us to use his private toilet (which was kept locked), bless him much. we finally did find a public washroom for ladies (refer to the photo below), but when Nabilah went to check it out, she found it locked and out of order T____T. a storekeeper that could converse in English told us that they don't get that many tourists here, hence the no money changer in the area.
|public washroom out of order|
we told the shuttle to pick us up at 5pm but due to the rush hour, they were running late by 45 minutes.
|rush hour traffic|
Nabilah insisted the driver take us to Himalaya before heading back to the hotel, which was what the agreement was before we even left the hotel. he was reluctant at first because it was already late and evening traffic was horrible and according to him vehicles can be fined if they stop at the side of the road. but he finally relented and allowed us to touch n go at the store. the driver asked for a selfie, i jadi tukang menyibuk je haha.
(btw, these flight attendants and their firm attitudes are really something to admire, i tell you).
|Himalaya pit stop|
|back at the hotel!|
i forgot to mention that during the time i was in Hyderabad, the Indians were busy celebrating the Ganesh Chaturthi festival, an eleven-day festival where large idols of the Elephant God are kept for community worship which would eventually be immersed into the nearest body of water. the roads were super crowded with people transporting Lord Ganesh idols when we arrived. this festival is usually observed in the month of Bhadra of the Hindu calender - mid August/September. i'm told that in Malaysia, the Indians celebrate for only one day.
you should've seen the locals, transporting their idols throughout the streets, celebrating by dancing and loud singing. did i mention it was raining? old and young, not even bothered by the rain. back in Malaysia, your mom would be screaming her head off at you to stay out of the rain before you end up sick.
(at this point of time i have yet to learn about Instatories haha)
more information on the festival here.
|Ganesh Chaturthi festival|
Hyderabad, the Departure
it was raining heavily as we were leaving the hotel. since it was a late flight departure there weren't that many people at the airport. the queue for immigration was also moving, albeit slow.
|Rajiv Ghandi International Airport|
i saw an interesting quote on one of the bright displays on the walls while awaiting my turn. that would be me, fuming away haha.
|caption of the day|
there wasn't much to do at the airport. i couldn't find a single postcard here either. boo. this time i wasn't running late so i took my own sweet time to get to the gate haha.
|raining upon departure|
onboard, Razi was so generous to serve me a huge helping of satay *sweat face*.
|the infamous satay|
and look who i found in the magazine thousands of feet in the air. so famous already, thanks to the collaboration with bowerhaus x dUCk.
|vivy thousands of feet in the air|
the flights i take are usually at night so i don't get to see much out the window. but since my flight left in the wee hours of the morning, i was able to catch sunrise on the way back. =)
til then India. i think my visa would already expire if there ever was a next time =D