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Velocity:Inertia Stories of my Adventures

Day 1 in Delhi

INDIA | Monday, 24 August 2015 | Views [247]

This is an email wrote to my dad.

I'm not in love with this place so far... But I have to give myself time to get adjusted. I guess it makes sense that it's not all rainbows and butterflies at the moment- I'm in one of the most chaotic cities in the world, alone, and the furthest from home I've ever been. When I got to my room I felt so shitty that I just wanted to go back to the airport and fly home. But even a day later I feel better than I did and hopefully I'll just keep improving. 

I think ultimately I'll be glad I'm doing this alone, even if there are downsides. It kinda sucks at times when I'm at tourist attractions and don't have someone to talk to about it. I don't remember it bothering me too much on my last trip, but it was a bit today. I went to The Red Fort, Raj Ghat (where Gandhi's ashes were scattered ... But to be honest I didn't know completely what I was looking at when I looked at because I misunderstood the driver), Safdarjung's Tomb ( "mini Taj Mahal"), and Lodhi Gardens- my favorite. I had thought maybe the driver from my hostel would come with me into them- is that from a privileged mindset?* I had thought the price included that- but would just drop me off and tell me where to meet him. I tried to make conversation and get to know him a little. He told me he had a 3 year old son. 

I cut the tour short and asked him to take me back after some hours. He said, "ok one last cultural thing I want to show you, just 10 minutes." It was a store with rooms full of rugs and jewelry and carved elephant things. I was frustrated that the driver had mislead me, as I'd made it clear I didn't want to spend money on much, but I tried to stay open and observe the beautiful items while politely declining to touch or buy anything. I hid my frustration even when As soon as I saw what I thought was ivory I left. They chased after me, "wait come back there's more to show you!"

The nice part of being alone is getting to do things at my own page. When I got back to my room at 3pm and crashed until 10 , I didn't have to answer to anyone about it. I hadn't had a lot of sleep the night before and then it was miserably hot and sweaty. I think it is the most intense humidity I've ever experienced. So I guess that's why I'm awake at 3 am but it's so quiet that it's actually kind of nice. 

I may try to go somewhere else cooler (weather wise) soon but there's a few more things I want to try to do first. I want to stay at a B and B that offers cooking classes, take a Bollywood dance class designed for visitors, and take a walking tour given by former street kids about living in poverty here. The proceeds go to a shelter.  I can stay up to 3 weeks here so I can move slow. 

So far, no illness, except the tension headaches I've struggled with for the past year... Nothing rubbing my neck doesn't eventually fix. Even if I'm not quite having the time of my life yet, I look at each day I don't get sick as a victory. I chose to eat mushroom curry today and have not eaten meat (which can carry lots of nasty things anywhere but I've heard horror stories about here) or drank anything but bottled water and a cup of tea since I've been here. I try to avoid bottled water in the states but it is so imperative to keep my health up right now that I have chosen to not take any risks, ie getting a purifier that ends up not working correctly. My hostel gives out free bottled water and has a mini travel agency of sorts directly across from my room. I have my own room and bathroom (the shower and toilet are put together in one tiny area) and I have access to a computer and wifi. All of this for not much more than 15-20 usd a night. I haven't called your friend yet.. I still need to get a SIM card or ask the front desk to use their phone. He sent me his numbers and I'd really like to meet him. 

Love you, thanks for writing. 

Danielle

* just also wanted to note that I realize most, if not all my complaints, are coming from a place of privilege. Regardless, I'm going to be honest about how I feel in each situation rather than censor myself. Some things are "good" problems to have, but still problems at times nonetheless. 

Tags: culture shock, delhi, loneliness

 

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