The Journey to Manipal

Monday, September 10, 2012

We woke up at 3.30am (6.00am Malaysian time) because the flight from Bangalore to Mangalore was set at 7.15am. After some light breakfast, we went by Bus to Bengaluru airport. After checking in our luggage, only did we realized that our flight was delayed for an hour and 45 minutes! Since I was getting hungry at that time, I bought a chicken puff for rs80 (RM4.80) at the airport.

It took us approximately 75 minutes to reach Mangalore. Manipal University buses and luggage trucks were there waiting for us. We had to go through bumpy roads for 90 minutes before reaching Manipal. It was only 60km apart but due to the bad condition of the roads, it took us this long to reach.

Finally around 3.45pm, we reached Manipal University. We were brought to a hall and lunch is provided there. A briefing by the Chief Warden and some of the lecturers were conducted after that. After the briefing session, we were given Airtel sim cards and they charged us rs600 with rs560 debited into our account.

We went and settle down in our hostels after that. I applied for the Nehru block with my friend, Chin Leong but we were granted the RT Hostel, Tagore block. Rabindrantah Tagore is actually an Indian poet who is the first to won the Nobel Prize other than European. The hostel block is named after him. Basically both hostels are twin-sharing with no air-conditioner. The difference is our block was further from the lecture halls and there is minor sunlight there. They even charged us for USD$1000 instead of USD$750 as stated in the hostel application form. How unfair!

It is a very small, old and dusty room with metal cupboard, metal doors, wooden chair and a wooden table. Everything is old there and we have to buy our own pillow and blankets. How can I survive there for 2 and half years? Thankfully after we settle down in our hostel, I met Tan Kian, who is 1 semester earlier than me. We were classmates in secondary school. He bought me and my friends around and introduced us to the places and shops there.

The Indians use different plugs from Malaysia. Theirs is three round headed small pins. My dad bought a gang socket for me with three round headed pins too but mine was 15Ampere and it could not fit into the socket! I have to buy an electrical adapter which acts as a stabilizer because the electricity current in India fluctuates. It may cause damages to my devices.

One terrible experience was when we were buying our pillows. We asked for discount for the rs220 pillow but the shop owner told us it is already discounted price as the usual price was rs250. He claimed that rs220 was a special price for students but after we went back to hostel, we found out it was written on the plastic that the maximum retail price is rs220. This is the way how they make profits out of us, the poor students.

Bombay Surgicals. The place we bought our lab coats, surgical sets, name tags and latex gloves. The shop may look old-fashioned for us Malaysians, but all the shops are the same style there.

For dinner, we went to the Food Court. It is indeed true that they serve Malaysian food such as chicken rice, nasi lemak, fried rice and other delicacies. However, the taste is not Malaysian at all. I ordered chicken fried rice for rs60 (RM3.60) and the rice is so oily. The price of the foods was not as cheap as expected too. It is almost the same in Malaysia and some even cost higher.

Around Manipal town, there are also Domino’s pizza, McDonalds, KFC and Pizza Hut, surprisingly!


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