Everyone has always said that the first thing to hit you when the plane doors open is the smell… Then it’s the heat. We had already grow accustomed to the turbans and the salwar kameez (the shirt/pant stuff the women wear) but… Why is it pleasantly mild? And where the hell is that smell? The only thing that was shocking to us was the lack of hagglers… Oh, and the RIDICULOUS air pollution! We thought maybe it was fog and then realized our eyes and throats were burning. The traffic is as expected (insane) but honestly it’s kind of just like a chaotic Bangkok so far. We went down to the Main Bazaar/New Delhi Train Station area yesterday and just walked around, got some food and… parts of the Main Bazaar were honestly way quieter and more open than Khao San Road (the main backpacking area) of Bangkok. The entire time we’ve been here, we’ve been like…. “Is this what all the fuss is about?”
Don’t get me wrong, though. I am LOVING India so far. The energy and the urgency in which everyone seems to be needing to do something is just electric. We haven’t done much since we got here though, because most of the day yesterday was spent figuring out how in the world we were going to get anywhere due to the fact that we decided to land in India during the largest Hindi religious holiday of the year – Diwali. Its (sorry my apostrophes and other various punctuation marks don’t work) the Hindi equivalent to Christmas. Sounds awesome, right? Well, think about trying to get a flight or any sort of transport during the Christmas holiday. Next to impossible. Translate that to a city of 15 million and a country of 1 billion and youve got 200-person waiting lists on every train for the next week. …Literally. Every train from here to Agra (where the Taj Mahal is located) is completely booked, as well as every train from Varanasi to Kolkata. We found a train from here to Varanasi, but couldnt get out of Varanasi, and the trains from here to Kolkata are booked all week. ….So we had to buy a freaking lane ticket. (the letter between o and q in the alhabet has decided to not work.. or the other side of the arantheses.
K, think Ill sto there as the keyboard is on the fritz. Were heading to Kolkata tomorrow and Im really looking forward to seeing the differences between Delhi after the Commonwealth Games and the untouched, infamous Kolkata!!
Hope all is well at home and can’t wait to see everyone on or around December 2nd!!