Now it has been nearly one month after arriving in India and already experienced a lot of different feelings. Especially the weather and a phase of homesickness was really challenging. Living in an area where currently 38°C are normal during daytime is totally new to me. Since I am here to teach Software Engineering at a college in Andhra Pradesh, I also have to wear formal clothes. So I have to survive with long pants and a shirt during the summer here in India. Luckily I got an exception and can wear a normal T-Shirt instead of a formal shirt. That really helps a lot, because normally I am also not used to wear formal clothes at all. A friend also took me to a tailor to get some light cotton pants, this is also a huge game changer during this heat. The first week I also struggled a lot with my sleep. I could not sleep because of the time difference and because I was sweating all night long. One mistake I made in the beginning was to turn on the AC and to fall asleep. The next few days I caught a cold and the combination of being ill, the high temperature, homesickness and not being able to sleep was a not very pleasant experience. Luckily the worst days of the cold only lasted for about 4 days. Since my arrival I also struggle a lot with eating regularly. It is a real pity, because I really like Indian food, especially the south Indian food is totally new to me and really delicious. But again because of the heat at the moment I only rely on a lot of water and different fruits. So for adapting to the heat in my opinion the following helps at least a bit:

  • get some light cotton pants
  • get a dhoti/lungi/pancha/veshti
  • eat some fruites (especially grapes and water lemon)
  • finish your meal with rice and curd or butter milk

I also got a scooter for my daily commute to and from the college. The driving here in India is a whole different story. First of all I am not used to drive on the left side and second the traffic (and unwritten rules) here is really dynamic. But I am sure I will get used to it. The first thing I learned while driving is, that it is really important to keep an eye on the road at any time. Using the horn is also really important when driving through small streets to make others aware of yourself. One thing I really hate here are the so called “speed breakers” or “speed humps”. They just appear randomly on the street and if you are not aware of them it can end in a really unpleasant situation. Especially in the night they are really hard to spot. So keep an eye on the road!

Besides that, everyone I met was really, really friendly. Especially my colleagues here at the college are totally friendly and welcoming. From time to time people invite me to share their breakfast and lunch with me. I feel really guilty, because at the moment I do not cook and do not bring food to the college to also invite them to share some food. This feeling also does not vanish when they explained me that they just want to treat me with respect and that a saying here is Atithi Devo Bhava (Guest is God). In addition to that I am also really surprised that many weak up early in the morning to prepare breakfast and lunch for themselves to bring it to work. The breakfast and lunch dishes are also not just simple dishes, they often really require a long time of preparation and this preparation also often begins on day in advance. The dishes I tried and really can recommend are:

  • Uggani and Bajji (also called Spring Birijani - one of the most delicious rishe dishes I have ever tried)
  • Idli
  • Dosa
  • Coconut-, tomato-, and peanutchutney
  • Chicken curry with Ragi Mudde (wow!)
  • Rice with Sambar
  • Lemon rice
  • Rice with Rasam
  • Rice with Pappu
  • Rice with Curd
  • Panipuri
  • Upma
  • Palli Podi (peanut powder - that is a real a game changer)
  • Masala Papad (really nice appetizer)
  • Chicken Birijani
  • A lot of Indian sweets
  • Nice and creamy masala chai