We began our first full day in India with a lecture on the socio-political and cultural environment in India. The lecture covered a wide range of topics, including gender issues in India, controversial viewpoints of 9/11, racism and more.

Michael%20India%203.jpgOn our first trip into the city, we went to Iscon mega mall, a gigantic retail mall in Ahmedabad. I guess I didn’t expect it, but there were many popular American and Western branded stores like Nike, Adidas, Levi’s Jeans, Tommy Hilfiger and Wrangler, to name a few.

In terms of development and progress in India, the amount of disparity is astounding. On a given road, there could be malls like Iscon right next to a village of people living in tents. On this road you will encounter cows, camels, stray dogs, tons of people, cars, motorcycles, autorickshaws and more. It’s strange to see cows wandering the streets. What’s stranger is to see them wandering on a street next to mega malls and in the middle of traffic.

As our last taste of American food for a while, we went to Pizza Hut for dinner. While the standard pizzas like cheese and pepperoni were available, the menu was considerably different. I had a cheese pizza – fortunately, it tasted the same as it does in the U.S.

Right after the waiter brought us our food, the power went out. While I was surprised when this happened (there wasn’t any kind of stormy weather), it seemed to be normal for the locals and employees. Luckily, the outage didn’t last very long.