Thursday, January 13, 2011

My Journeys in India so far...

The anticipation caused by waiting for a big trip is the perfect opportunity for self reflection and discovery. One is readily able to see what his hopes and fears are, there is easy access to ones full range of emotion.
I tried my best not to over think this trip. I do not want my activities to be shaped by ideas that I have thought up long before. I want to be able to experience my journey without having it shaped by my own will. I do not want my fears to be present nor my desires. So leading up to this trip I have not done that much planning. I’m hopeful that this will be a very special experience and I wish to get all that I can out of it. I do not wish to have my trip tarnished by feelings of disappointment from unmet desires.
Upon arriving at the newark airport at 5,30 am, I was quickly checked in and equally fast went through security. That was a total surprise, I suppose considering the hour that it is to be expected. I was all through and waiting outside my gate by 6 am.
The flight over went a lot faster than expected I think that I managed to squeak in a few hours of rest while on the plane, got to watch a movie. I didn’t spend that much time talking with my seat mate. I started to read a very interesting book called treasure island. Mostly I just tried to rest, I got about 3 hours of sleep the night before so it was good to rest. I’m also getting excited because this is the first time that I have ever been to England , too bad I only get to see the inside of this big airport. Next stop and I will be on Indian soil.
Finally made it to Delhi. Its about 3,40am back home. I’m pretty tired but still very excited. The city is stuck in a fog. Which was pretty impressive to descend into. My favorite part of the part flight was looking down over the vast deserts over Afghanistan. It then shifted into a mountainous region which was also very beautiful. Its crazy to see so much empty space. Being up high and looking down makes everything look like toys; perspective.
Still relaxing at the Delhi airport. Kinda wish that the layover wasn’t as long as it was but it has actually gone by quite fast, it helps that I napped a bit. I am already enjoying the price different caused by the currency exchange rate here. A half liter water bottle cost 10rps, which is about
.25$. The internet has taken on a new function for me here, I have to say that it was quite nice to be able to talk to my parents back home so soon. I am also experiencing something that I haven’t felt in a very long time and that is the feeling of being a foreigner. I have noticed quite a few people staring at me, which at fist can be disconcerting but after it sinks in that I am the odd one out it isn’t so bad. Airports are a really great place to people watch, and I have been able to see all sorts. Now that night has come it seems like the fog has lifted. But I swear as soon as I got here the place has looked hazy even inside the airport. They are doing a lot of construction at this airport. Oh while I was waiting in the lounge before being checked in for my flight I saw some kind of important person. He came complete with his own guard, who carried a submachine gun, and he had about 10 men with him whom all participated in some way in taking care of him. They brought him a coffee and cake. At one point a man came by who was talking on his phone, while he was talking he leaned on his cart point his backside in the persons face (obviously not on purpose) but straight away one of his staff came and asked/made the man move, which he did. Another unique experience for me, was watching a man lay out a mat and pray towards mecca.
There is a mix of the way people are dressed here. I have seen quite a few men in turbans. Some older ladies dressed in the indian fashion the exposes part of her midriff. Men wearing the typical outfit that consists of the long shirt that goes to the knees and pants with a vest over. I have seen a few ladies fully covered, also some with heads covered. But more or less the people dress in typical “western fashion”. The guards at the airport here all carry some type of fire arm, it was a little scary to see guys carrying around ak-47s out in the open. I will be leaving soon to go to Jaipur, and I cant wait for that I am totally ready for this 30+ hour journey spanning three continents (with about 16 hours spent in flight) to be over.
Today was my first day of activity in India. We met some of the students and then we had hindi lessons. The language is very interesting because in any sentence the verb is at the end, and usually the noun is first. After the Hindi lesson we were served a small cup of chai and I tried this sweet that was made from sugar (and was a hunk of sugar), the flavor reminded me of caramel.
I was told that I look like a hero from two different people, that was fun to here. when we got back to the apartment complex that we are staying in, which is really nice too, (I’m staying in my own room, with my own bathroom) I made salsa by hand and cooked up chicken to make fajitas. We started eating diner around 9pm, and were finished and cleaning up by 10. It was a really nice time for all the american people here. We all hung out in the kitchen, everybody helped out it was just a good time for all of us young people from america to bond. We hung out and talked until about 11,30pm.