When I arrived in New Delhi on Saturday, the heat hit me like a blast. Got used to it though -and just took to drinking a lot of water!
My first experience in Indian traffic was one of those moments where you're looking frantically around at your surroundings and thinking over and over "oh my god I'm going to die, oh my god I'm going to die!" I'm more used to it after a couple of days now but I've got somewhat of an ongoing headache from all of the car horns. They honk every 5 seconds and most of the time it's unnecessary!
Oh, and not only do lanes not exist on the street, but they're dotted with people pushing carts of fruits, pedestrians and cows.
Speaking of animals... I arrived finally to my destination in Bangalore Saturday night after a two-hour delay in Delhi due to the flash storm (I was almost petrified that we were going to take off in it -I had never seen lightening like that before!). I got to my friend's house at 1:30am and was further held up outside by wild dogs. I was frightened that one of them was going to pounce and bite me. He was barking ferociously at the foot of the driveway I needed to go up... You have no idea how scared I was! Couldn't dial out from my cell phone to local numbers and I'm in the dark, deserted and smelly back road... But here I am today!
Currently on the balcony enjoying the cool night air. The traffic below is still quite loud but seems removed. We overlook a residential area but there's a small slum in the lot to the east. It’s hidden from view from the main road. But not that it would need to be hidden. There's enough blatant poverty around that I don't think it would cause shame.
There's a man power-walking laps up on the roof here -didn't you know that's the next big thing? I suppose it just wouldn't be safe to walk this late down below. My friend and I at around 8pm walked to the local alcohol point and she warned me to be prepared for a harder time than usual -women aren't supposed to drink here. "They're probably thinking: 'you're drinking, what a whore!'“
In general I stick out like a sore thumb here. I thought I would see more Westerners around. Most people are helpful, but it also seems to give the locals license to want to rip me off. Luckily I have traveled enough that I won't allow it. In Delhi I had several people come up and want to be in photos with me and here I've had young girls wanting to touch my hands.
I've been trying to take candid photos of the locals but when they see me flash the camera they get excited and want to pose. I still have a really nice collection of photos so far. I've been trying to show the real side of the country as opposed to the touristy shots.
I went to the market today and got three nice skirts -I LOVE the Indian skirts and specifically wanted a few. I also got henna up my arm that I also love. I can't wait to be walking around Hungary and England with it on my arm :) My friend got a design too but she needs one of those dog collars that keep the pup from knawing at stitches because she's obsessively picking at it!
It's just so different here that I don't feel the need to go around touring or see other places. Just a stroll down the street I know I'm in a different place. If I were here for longer I would want to see Bombay and the Bollywood stuff there, and probably want to go up to the Himalayas. This is good for now though.
One thing that is seriously shocking is the state of public works. I admit I am mostly ignorant to the political situation here, but it seems to me there is enough investment in India that there must be high-level corruption here. The streets and sidewalks are in utter decay and the garbage piles with their stench are unbearable.
More to come.