Sunday, April 19, 2009

India- September 14th 2005

As a Sophomore in college, I spent a semester backpacking through Northern India with a small group of students. It was an incredible experience amplified by the fact that for the first time in my life, I kept a daily journal. Now 4 years later, wanting to combine my writings with all the pictures we took along the way, I thought it might be appropriate for the blog. I hope you enjoy the journey!

I still can’t believe I’m going

I got up at 5:30am Washington time to take a shower, my last real shower, before embarking on a 50 hour adventure flight to New Delhi leading to a 3 month stay in India. When you know that you’re going to spend 15 hours flying to Hong Kong, a 5.5 hour flight to San Francisco is a piece of cake. I think that hardest part will be the 9 hour wait in the airport before I meet any of my fellow explorers. But even when I do meet them, we still have another 6 hours until our flight at 1:20am (or 4:20am Washington time) which means by the board, I will have spent 15 hours in this airport and been awake for 23- All on 4 hours of nervous sleep.

I’m to meet my fellow travelers at 7:30-8ish at the Cathay Counter. Well- here I am. And I’m finally nervous. I’m the first one here and keep thinking I’m at the wrong desk- wrong terminal- maybe we’re meeting at LAX and not SFO after all. All I know is that I’m about to embark on the biggest journey of my life and I’m early and alone. Talking to Ash and Kris and Mom made me think that I wish I was home- I’ve been at this airport for so long that I’ve forgotten why I’m here.

The 13 hour plane ride turns out to be a piece of cake after I take a sleeping pill & pass out for some 9 hours.

I want to live in Hong Kong

Started the day off at the Botanical & Zoological gardens where some 20 people were doing Tai chi with swords. We took the peak tram to the top and saw amazing views of the city. In the galleria at the top, Jen and I were lectured upon faith and life:
“ Jesus- peace be with him”
“You are deserve”
“Jonah was in the whale of the belly”

We finally tore ourselves away after 30 minutes but not without a picture and his card with promises that we would call if we ever felt like talking. It was a mind boggling and surreal experience.

Eating beef noodles for breakfast- sending postcards home- shopping spree! HK$ 119 for a robe- HK$148 for a saddle bag- HK$40 for 2 magnets. HK&68 for a bracelet blessed in a temple we visited & HK$ 99 for a T-shirt.

I can smell my hair ☹

We land in Delhi and take a taxi to our homestay. Because of the rain & heat it is hard to see out the windows of the 1950’s cab, but what we imagine is enough- They drive on the left, use their horns constantly and risk their lives squeezing in between trucks and concrete blocks. Our homestay consists of 4 floors filled with tiny rooms which seem to appear out of nowhere and somewhere between the catwalks outdoors and the rooftops we climb to get to our room.
It’s been raining here for 3 months and the dripping water is nothing compared to the honking and what seems to be a parade going on outside. Someone is definitely singing. Tomorrow I shall awake to a whole new world.

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