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Indian Chef, Nishant Lokanathan, Manan Desai, Mitchell Langley

Mitchell Langley: Student Report from 2018 Alternative Summer Break to India

When I first saw that there was a trip to Bangalore I was indifferent, but I was also excited. I have never traveled outside of the country before, so I was nervous. Once I landed in the Bangalore airport, the nerves vanished, and I knew I was going to have a once in a lifetime experience.

Statue of Ganesha, the Hindu Deity
The Hindu deity Ganesha, the lord of good fortune

The bus we boarded when we arrived was probably the best type of transportation we could’ve had. It was like something someone would rent for a bachelor party, complete with overhead interior lights in different colors. When we arrived at the College, where we were to stay for the first night, I was surprised to see how nice the dorms were.

Woman Riding Motorcycle in India
Woman riding a motorcycle in Bangalore traffic.

After the long bus ride to the neighboring state of Tamil Nadu, I was astounded by the views and the culture. It was amazing to see such a far mountain range with rivers, and then still see a flat horizon all in the same view. The natives welcomed us with open arms and music which was a treat because we got to see Judith bust out some moves as well.

Mitchell Langley Working on the Job Site
Mitchell Langley and Indian man working on the job site.

The next few days we had a consistent schedule of working and eating. In that week I learned just how hot it is there. I don’t know how those locals can be in that heat for so long, but I have mad respect for them. The food the chefs made us contained copious amounts of flavor and I loved it; however, my stomach did not. I ended up getting food poisoning for a couple of days. Despite that, I would do it all again.

Indian-style Wok
Indian-style Wok

When we came back to Bangalore, we went shopping, which was a completely new experience. The vendors and shopkeepers would do everything in their power to get me into their shops and look at what they had to offer. When I was ready to order and did not agree with the price I would barter with them which augmented the excitement of shopping. During the shopping spree we got hungry and ate at a McDonalds. Confused about what type of food was what, I ended up ordering a fried potato sandwich with potato wedges.  Also, it turned out their ice cream machine was broken, which I thought only was something that happened in the United States.

I left India reminiscing about all the marvelous things I experienced and even came to realize how much I missed. Once my four-hour layover passed in Amsterdam, I got on the plane to take me home.  On the plane, the flight attendant handed me my one lost love I went a week without. Holding back the tears, I was given a cup of water, but it was not just any cup of water. My love was floating on the top of the water like a babe on a raft in a pool; my lost love was ice, which I did not have for the entire trip.  I did not realize how much I would miss it and I was stoked to see it.

Lightning Strike in India
Lightning strike in Indian countryside.

Overall, the trip gave me what I wanted – a new adventure that would be hard to come by in lifetime. I would encourage everyone who thinks about traveling to do so, because there is an amazing place out there for every individual. There may be some parts that are tougher than expected, but, that is what gives a traveler the full experience.