Go ahead and freak out.
Oh no no no what have I done!?
Where am I? I can't have done this! No! No no no!
I'm fine. I'll be fine. I just have to go back right? Just go back to Uncle Moti's and everything will be ok.
But I walked for HOURS. It's so LATE.
I can't. I can't!
>Bina, this is very important, but what you're going to need to do is find a map. Lots of places have maps, like subway stations, or visitor's centres for travellers. Find somewhere that people go to when they want to go somewhere else, because once you're there, you can find where you want to go.
But I'm not down-town with all the big old buildings, and the pearl shops, and stuff for tourists. I'm nowhere near down-town, I don't think, I'm not sure. I'm in the middle of a bunch of apartments with gates, and houses.
And oohhhh noo…. I've got no money!
Well, I have money but not the right kind of money. We usually go to the little guy in the airport with the big LED sign showing all the different types of money.
But we didn't this time because we were running to catch our plane. I have twenty five dollars from my allowance in my wallet, but that might as well be coloured paper here!
And that means I can't get on a bus, even though dad told me not to use the buses here 'cause they're so crowded, or hire a rickshaw or a cab, or buy a map, or use a payphone, and the only subways in Hyderabad sell sandwiches not train tickets!
Oh no no no. No no no no no!
If you're in a residential area, good! Most residential areas are pretty safe. If you can, try and walk around a bit to find an official-looking building that still has its lights on. Any government building is a safe place to go- post office, library- or any hospital or doctor's office. If you're in a residential area, usually there's a school nearby, and a teacher's whole job is to help kids, so they're a good person to ask for help too.
A school! I passed one of those right? I think I did. I think so. I could go back! Right? They sometimes have people working late. OK. OK. I'll do that. I'll do that.
I start walking. I want to run. I want to run SO BAD, but I walk. I walk because a girl running is a girl in trouble, and I don't want to be a girl in trouble. I really really don't want to be in trouble.
Is this the way I came? I think so, but not all the streets here have street signs, and I don't know for sure because I wasn't paying attention.
Oh no… oh nooo…. Stop it! Stop it, stop it, stop it! I'm going to be fine. I'm going to be fine.
How could I have DONE this? I'm so STUPID! What was I thinking!?
The worst place to be alone as a young woman.
I don't think Hyderabad in 2005 is the worst place to have something like this happen, but it's not the best either.