I went to the college without Divya. I knew our schedules won’t match for long, but this was too soon. To make the walk interesting, I timed myself. It takes two minutes from the room to the ‘hundred steps’, another two to climb, and one minute to descend. In five minutes, I was on the other side of the hill and that felt very promising. I can really do it for the next three months! I still reached 5 minutes late than planned, at the lab. A lab mate who promised yesterday to wait for me, was still waiting patiently. Together, we walked to the other end of the huge campus. I still wonder why their buildings are so far away. To the unhealthy kid in me, that was more than acceptable levels of morning walk! Walking in to the seminar hall, I was still skeptical if I were really expected to be present there. Obviously, their presentations were all going to be in Japanese, I would just stare blank. Nevertheless, I sat down for the entire session. The most unexpected thing happened then, in the middle of the presentation, as the professor got up to discuss the concept with the presenter. After the discussion, professor turned to me and began to explain the crux of the presentation in English. In a class of 20+ students, he doing that entirely for my benefit was very moving. After all, I wasn’t part of the class and was just a newbie there. After the presentation, things got a bit awkward when lunch was brought. Students picked up food packets and indulged themselves. Being a vegetarian here is difficult; even more difficult is to make people understand that it’s possible to survive without meat and fish! I somehow conveyed the message and politely declined the food. Sensing my confusion or not, I was told that I may leave as things were done for the day.
With half a day at hand, I went over to the BKC International Centre inside the campus, with Divya. The place is aimed to help international students to interact with each other and feel comfortable. The hot chocolate felt good there 🙂 To get more comfortable, we headed back to the dormitory. And got really comfortable with a calm settling mood. The evening got more relaxing and rejuvenating as we took a walk to ‘Friend’s Mart’ again. There’s more to that place than the store. Walking by them, it reminded me of the buildings in Fort Kochi – pretty and small.
I miss home, but it feels familiar here too. Its mixed emotions!