Our morning began with an early, unexpected “wake up call” from the front desk informing us that Mali Gandhi, our advisor from the Regional Institute of Education at the University of Mysore, was on his way over to the hotel to “officially welcome” us to Mysore. Feeling completely ill-prepared for any sort of formal meeting, we attempted to clean up and fuel up. We took full advantage of the complimentary South Indian breakfast at the overpriced Hotel Regaalis by devouring endless amounts of fresh squeezed fruit juice, curd (yogurt), idli, pongal (a rice and dal stew with cashews and dried fruit), sambar, eggs, and the list goes on. Just as we were scrapping our plates clean, a jolly Indian man plopped down at our table. It took us a solid three minutes to figure out that this man was our advisor; not only were we expecting Mali Gandhi to be a woman but he never actually introduced himself.
After some confusing discussion, it was clear that Mali Gandhi had not read our research proposal and was unclear as to why we were even in India. Despite multiple attempts to explain our goals and ideas, we were left feeling quite bewildered. About everything. For example, Mali Gandhi repeatedly said that there was no way we could possibly conduct any sort of meaningful research in only six months and urged us to talk to Fulbright about extending our stay. When we explained our grant was only for a six month time period, he countered by telling Taylor that before getting to work, it was essential to take Tiffany on vacation to Goa. It was at this point that Mali Gandhi determined we had reached the goals of our first meeting. As we walked him out of the hotel, he grabbed Taylor’s hand (a sign of friendship). Just as we were about to part, he invited us to a movie, obviously. A wee bit baffled, we graciously declined.
Thanks for joining us for t time. More posts on the way.