Friday, April 14, 2017


It's 4am in the morning and I'm lying in our dark hostel room in India thinking of our last week here in Delhi. We try not to have to many preconceived notions of how a country or culture will be before we see for ourselves. But India was so easy to judge. There are so many tv shows and movies that depict a scary India. An India not safe for woman and children to travel within. But so far that has not been our experience. 

As a whole, I've felt safe, I've been respected as a woman with a voice. I have not been touched or looked at  inappropriately. We have all been stared at. A lot. But not so much out of anything much more than an honest curiosity. We stare a lot to. 

India is definitely stretching us. There is so much trash, so many people, thousands of tuk tuks, motorcycles and cars. The honking is insistent. I want to yell STOP IT. Just stop all the honking. We get it, you want to go faster. But it's their way. Not our way.  The smells are at times overwhelming. Sometimes the smells are so good. Curry, garlic and other food smells tempt us of some amazing food being cooked along the streets. Other smells are not so good. Cow dung, rotting garbage and the smell of poverty are the hard ones. In Varanasi, the smoke from the wood burning cremations that go 24/7  was at times stifling. Putting our scarves over our mouths was the only relief we got. Breathing was hard. I can't imagine the local people breathing in that smoke day after day. Do they ever get a lung full of crisp Canadian like air. Oh, we are so fortunate to live in a country with fresh air. 

The drivers go this way and that way, winding their mode of transport through the narrow streets, trying to find a path past the others, past the dogs sleeping in the streets, past the cows walking through the middle of traffic, oblivious to the rush of the city., past all the people walking in the streets. The crowds are unbelievable. So many people, vehicles and animals. It's hard to comprehend how it all works. Why don't we see more accidents? A few times as we were riding in a tuk tuk, we gasped at a close call. Yikes, that was almost an accident. The drivers seem to know within inches, how close to the others around them are. But other than a few slow touches, we haven't seen an accident. 


The early mornings that we've walked through the streets, we notice people cleaning up from the mess of the day before. Piles of trash swept up into piles. Sometimes cows are riffling through the trash like pigs, looking for a snack. Things are much more quiet in the early mornings. The shops tend to open closer to 8, so there are less vehicles racing around. It's a good time to explore with a little less chaos. 

So far, we have found an India worth visiting. A beautiful country full of ancient temples, forts, ghats, rituals, religions and beautiful smiles all mixed into a crazy chaotic space. Friendly people that are very much worth taking the time to talk with. They are as interested in our way of life as we are in theirs. Bring on the next 2 weeks! We are ready to learn and experience more of what India has to offer.