I spend the morning in Charminar and find out that I'm too early for the Lad Bazaar. The market only opens at 11am.
A young boy who insists his name is John becomes my guide and decides to take me to Chowmalla Palace nearby, while waiting for things to heat up at the bazaar.
The admission fees are by far the most I've paid - 150 rupees per foreign head, 50 rupees to bring in a camera, and 10 rupees for John. This, coupled with a sense of being with dead things devoid of life or energetic information that I feel while walking among the exhibits of furniture, clothes and weapons of long dead Moguls, turns me off visiting the other museums in the city: Salur Jung, the state museum, the science center.
In the bazaar I find a hat to protect myself from the sun. The stitches on the thing were made by someone who was either too unskilled or too rushed to stay within the prescribed lines, or both, as was the stitched Nike Logo on the front.
Golconda fort, however, was amazing! And my new hat was a big hit with the locals ^_^. For some reason they think I'm American even though I'm Asian. This is especially so while I have my hat on.
It is a hassle to take buses when the buses are too full and the conductors are too busy to even try to comprehend what you are saying to give you assistance. So I've been relying heavily on auto-rickshaws most of the time. On the way back, however, I am blessed with being able to find where to wait and what number buses to look out for.
Major squish! Buses in Singapore do get crowded with standing room only, but Hyderabadi buses take the cake! Half the journey I only had space to stand on one leg. I feel a slight homophobic awkwardness, the teen squished up next to me, however, is all at ease and actually starts a conversation!
He is exhuberant, having landed a job with Singtel in India as a software engineer (that seems to be the profession of every other young male in Hyderabad I have met). He beams when I congratulated him. There will be a party!
Just before leaving, he tells an old fellow to point out where I should get off. And then he squishes his way through the crowd hanging on for dear life at the doorway of the bus, and leaps into his bright future without the bus having to stop.