Here I am, back on Indian soil, and despite the familiar chaos I couldn’t be happier. I learned a thing or two last time around… most of it the hard way, and now I get to use the experience and familiarity to my advantage.
After 20 hours of travel, my close friend Annabell and I arrive in Delhi in the dark early morning hours, exhausted and jet-lagged, and head to our room in the Hauz Khas neighborhood of the city. I chose this area as a ‘soft landing’ since the little enclave is relatively insulated from the chaos of the big city. That was lesson-one learned… ease in to the chaos! And while I was fully prepared to go solo again this time around, I have to admit that after traveling through India for a month by myself last year, it is a welcome comfort to have such wonderful company for this trip.
Currently, we need food and sleep, and yet as is always the case, the excitement of arriving on foreign soil surrounded by life entirely different to the one we live, ushers in a 2nd (3rd? 4th?) wind, and so we set off to do some exploring hoping to stay awake until a reasonable hour to retire. I’m not sure 5pm is reasonable, but exhaustion finally won and we are down for the count before the sun sets.
India, of course, remains unchanged… exemplifying the dichotomy of life itself. Beauty and chaos intertwine, even here in the city. Modern life is juxtaposed on to ancient ruins and ritual. There are those ready and willing to help side by side with those ready to trick you at any chance they get. Getting around remains difficult and yet entirely worth every effort.
Our time here is brief, and I will chronicle Delhi further after my return visit on the way back home. In the meantime I am beyond ready to embark on another journey and dive into new experience with a curious mind and an open heart.
India, it’s good to see you, old friend.