I actually started writting this a few days ago and through sleep deprevation, spotty internet connections and probably some lazyness, I never got around to posting until now. I’m going to appologize for any major typos made in India right now. I’m in freaking India, I don’t have time to polish blog posts.
Day one. I cannot believe it has only, really, been one day. I mean, I left Denver on Tuesday morning so it doesn’t really make sence that on Friday we’re still at one.
Packing up for a trip, saying your goodbyes, going to the airport, and hearing the jets of the plane fire up is so freaking exciting. It’s slightly better than clicking “purchase” on the plane tickets. Thanks to John “Princess Buttercup” Hogue I’ve had a cold.
I actually think it’s super shitty to try and trace a cold back to the person who gave it to you; firstly there is nothing scientific about the methodology of pinpointing the source, secondly there is no good that can come of it because even if you’re right, you’re still sick and lastly it is taking away any self involvement in the matter (maybe showering would help prevent illness a-hole)
So anyway, cold! Being congested while flying is super terrible, but being on sudafed PM while flying is amazing! 18 hours in the air and 4 hours of hating New Jersey later, I landed in New Delhi. Baggage made it, complete with a mistery wet spot and the driver from the hostel was waiting for me. I never knew how happy I would be to see a sign that said “Mr. Amy Hogue”-super happy, I had a ride!
I made it my hostel and, well, I ended up switching hostels and I’m happy with that decision so far. My apartement in Cap Hill was super noisy, I had traffic whizzing by on 13th and I had a good alley full of drunk fighting and other alley sports, so I can sleep through most things, but Denver failed to condition me for the marching band (?) that echoed through the labrynthy alleyways.
It took all of that, just to get me to day one and day one did not dissapoint.
So day 1: I found my way out of the maze of allys and on to a major street and started walking. The first two hundred steps of the day were terrifying and overwhelming. I was feeling very alone and overwhelmed. I sincerly thank those of you that I communicated with via email, facebook and Tango those first days and I might need you again. It helps having contact and support during the tough times.
I made my way (from the help of a visitor from Mumbai, who first showed me the biggest Hindu temple in New Delhi (so, according to Wikipedia it is the largest in the world. I had no idea. Oops.) and then sent me to the state tourism center) to a tourist center. I told myself I would do this alone and the hard way, but after the crushing feeling of being alone and sick on the other side of the globe, I was more than willing to let a tour company help me book the first part of my trip, the North India portion. I paid more than I would like to have, by India standards, not american, and I had some ups and downs with the office, but it has been nice to not fight my way through train stations to book tickets and the hotels that they arranged for me have been much better than the one I found when left to my own devices.
The tourist company set me up with a tour of New Delhi, which is a pretty chaotic city. There are some amazingly beautiful sites within the city. All of the chaos: the burning trash and 7 lanes of traffic driving in 2 lanes of street space makes the tranquility of temples, parks and historical landmarks all the more impressive.
Day one was a whole week’s worth of stress, loniness, elation, and thoughts of “Am I seriously in India?” And “Gandhi. Seriously. Sweet.” All rolled into one.