If you’re ever in Ahmedabad, GO TO VISHALLA!! It’s an authentic Gujarati theme restaurant and it is awesome. We went there for dinner last night, but I’ll get to that later. My second-to-last day in Ahmedabad was a bit rough after getting back so late the night before — I nearly fell asleep walking around a museum. I sort of managed to push through…sort of.
I started my day with a return to Jinal-ma’am’s Psychology class! It was something I looked forward to the first few days of the trip and it was so nice to go back. After discussing attention and ADHD for a while, I had to leave for art. We opened the scarves that we tied and painted using the spiral technique. Mine turned out okay, not great, but it’s fine because I love my other one!
After art, we took a group field trip to the Calico Textile Museum. It displays ancient tapestries, clothing, etc in the setting of a traditional Ahmedabad haveli (cottage). We weren’t allowed to bring phones in because camera flashes could damage the fabrics so I don’t have any pictures. The textiles were beautiful, and there were so many! Each style or technique had its own display museum. It’s a truly impressive collection.
We headed back to school and had lunch before a brief music session. Mandy, Abby, and I are performing a song tonight (!!) at our Farewell party so we rehearsed with our teacher. It will be interesting to see how it goes. Videos will be filmed, don’t worry.
Because we went out to dinner, there were no activities after school. That was definitely good because I was about ready to pass out from exhaustion! When I got home, I showed Gaurvi some ab exercises because she had asked me to a few days ago, and then took a 45-minute nap. It was glorious.
I woke up around 5:00 PM and got ready for dinner! I wore a maxi dress which I brought from home with Indian jewelry and a bindi. I’m going to miss bindis so much — they’re so beautiful and have a lovely meaning. They’re supposed to help focus your energy and clear your mind. I did buy a pack of them, but we’ll see if I’m ever brave enough to wear one in Oregon! We were meeting at the school at 6:30, so Sonal drove me over around 6:15. From there, we boarded a bus and headed to the restaurant!
Oh my goodness, the restaurant. I took some photos there which will go up as soon as I’m somewhere with good wifi. It was designed to feel a like an old Indian village with trees everywhere, various huts with low tables and mats, a small stage where musicians played traditional music with an area to dance, and even a traditional puppet show! The show was in Hindi, so I couldn’t understand, but you didn’t need to! It was hilarious and made us all feel like little kids again. The dancing was a highlight — one of the AFS-India employees who joined us on Saturday showed us all a simple garba circle dance! Well, she showed Salisa, Carlos, Mandy, and I. Everyone else opted to sit out. Still, it was magical.
Despite the amazing activities, the real star was the meal. We had our own hut with three long tables, one on each side and one along the back. We sat around the outside so we could all see each other — and yes, we sat on the ground! The plates were pressed leaves stitched together and the cups were clay and slightly misshapen. I loved it. First they brought out various chutneys, pastes, and spices which we passed around. Then they brought out the food. Servers came around to each person with plates and pots and gave everyone some of everything! There were too many things to list, but it was all unique and amazing. I took pictures, so those will go up later. It was the most interesting dining experience I’ve ever had and the setting was extraordinary. Not to mention, having one last big night out with everyone was great.
We left Vishalla stuffed, but happy and with gift bags! Every visitor gets a small leaf bowl and clay pot, provided they write feedback in the guest book. Free souvenirs are the best!
When I got home, I basically just collapsed into bed. It was a great day, but even with the nap I was tired beyond belief. I slept wonderfully and woke up today feeling so much better. Today’s post should go up tonight! Prepare for some sappy stuff — it’s my last day in Ahmedabad and the feelings are way to real. Until next time, अलविदा!