Tuesday, October 4, 2011


I usually wait for some sort of complete thought before hitting the keyboard, but there is really so much to say and I would like to say something about India so far, rather than nothing at all.  I tried to come with as few expectations as possible, which I think helped me a lot when I arrived in Delhi.

It was surprisingly easy to get from the airport to the New Delhi train station for about 80 rupees (less than 2 USD).  My suspense of the pending culture shock grew for the 23 minutes I sat on that train.  As I walked up to the train station, I would have to say the first thing that hit me was the smell...the smell of food, people, trash, and most of all pollution.  Of course it was crowded and I had to deal with being hassled from time to time, after all I was the only white person that I saw there.  Overall, I didn't feel that shocked; I think I was just ready to put my things down and get some rest.

It wasn't too hard to find a place to stay in the main bazaar area of Delhi, but walking around even without my big backpack was exhausting.  There is so much going on there between auto and bike rickshaws (like a mini taxi, sort of), shops, street food, dust, fumes and lots of people, it is nearly impossible to focus on one thing or have one single clear thought among the craziness.  I did, however, voluntarily stay in that busy area, so I somehow enjoyed this experience.  

I only spent one night in Delhi before heading towards Rishikesh for the yoga course.  Taking a train from Old Delhi at 5 am was an abrupt way to start the day.  I had to first dodge getting hit by rickshaws as I crossed the street where my taxi dropped me off, then I was at this point a bit thrown off to see easily more than a hundred people sleeping outside and inside the train station.  I found my platform with ease and intuitively sought out a nice person to sit next to while waiting for my train.  That worked perfectly and I had a very easy conversation with a guy who works for a MetLife call center in Delhi.  The good vibes kept coming my way the rest of the day, making my journey to Rishikesh long but well worth it.  This was really my first day in India and I met a few really interesting people who were helpful, welcoming and weren't too pushy about maintaining a long conversation (which I had been warned about from a few friends who have been to India).

I'm still getting a feel for Rishikesh, but it's definitely calmer than Delhi, which is expected since it's smaller and is considered a Holy city (that doesn't stop anyone from the incessant horn honking that drives my ears crazy).  What I can say about it is that it's along the Ganges river with jungle covered hills almost like a backdrop. It's full of color, monkeys and cows.  More on that later.

So that about covers a tenth of what I've experienced so far.  The course started officially yesterday and I am already learning so much and have a lot to digest in the mean time.  I hope to post some photos sometime this week and maybe some more things about the course as well.

I hope all is well! 

1 comment:

Jessie said...

Wow, Kristin! Be safe and enjoy your time there! I enjoy reading your blog...update when you can!