There’s this video my friend showed me made by a comedy team in Quebec, where they poke fun at their accents in English. They eliminate the “h” before words that need it, and put it instead in front of words that begin with a vowel. For example, a Quebecoise would say “ere” instead of “here” and “h’India” instead of “India”. And because of that video, I am incapable of saying “India”. Now and evermore, she will henceforth be “h’India.” Except when writing this blog. Cause that would get annoying fast. So, only when spoken will I say “h’India”. Which makes the above story pointless. Not deleting it though.
I also learned that INDIA is an acronym for:
I’m having a hard time reconciling my feelings about India. Every day I laughed until I cried. I made a new friend who I just adore, and strengthened relationships with old friends. I developed such a sweet bond with my travel companions (there were 8 of us) that we were like a little family. I was touched by the kindness of the people there, and the unguarded joy and fascination of the children. For many evenings, I watched the sun set into the Arabian Sea, while perched on the edge of a cliff with a cold Kingfisher in my hand.
On the flip side, some of the “toilets” I used during those 3 weeks are where syphilis and hepatitis married, birthed a baby, and that baby is now living in those dark places. There was a 24 hour time period that is now in my top 5 worst days of all time. We spent so much time in transit that I think I developed bed sores from sitting. I attended the Maha Kumbh Mela. (pronounced “koom-buh”)
So where does that leave India? Still not sure. Maybe writing about it will help me figure that out.
We arrive in Delhi at 2AM and tell the cab driver the name of our hotel. Hotel Airport City. From that, he then drives in circles around the airport until we end up on the other side. At another terminal. Really, India? We just landed and you already want us to leave. It took around 4 days to actually communicate to him that our hotel was a building close to the airport. Not the actual airport.
The Lotus Temple is the most famous Baha’i temple on the Indian subcontinent, they say. But what I loved most about this day was how everyone wanted their picture with me! I had heard how white people are a bit of a commodity in India and so I was prepared for stares and attention. I thought I would hate it. I didn’t. I loved it! Yes, everyone can have a picture with me! Take a number and form a line!
The plans for the night were to have dinner with Bobby’s aunt and uncle. We have their address and phone number, but no cell phone. And there aren’t exactly pay phones dotting the streets of Delhi. Bobby knows the metro stop, so we hop on during rush hour. In a city of 16 million people. That’s fine. I love crowds.
Anywho, after fighting our way to the street, we walk around for a bit assuming we can Magellan our way there (I just made that up). It becomes clear within minutes how ambitious our pursuit was, and as we’re walking we run into a group standing outside a TV station. They were young, hip, and spoke fluent English – heyooooh! We use their cell phone but have trouble communicating to Bobby’s aunt our exact location. Our new friend offers to help, so he takes over in Hindi and explains where we are and tells uncle to come scoop us up. He then stays with us the entire time to make sure we get picked up. What a gent.
After dinner, his uncle drives us back to the hotel and we get another present: Lo waiting for us in the lobby!
This shop was right across the street from our hotel. You were the first person I thought of, Marissa.
Tomorrow – the Taj!