|Pre-India (chirpiness hiding the terror)|
Truth be told I'd done my reading before landing in Delhi- I'd bought almost every Lonely Planet guide under the sun, I'd read every Foreign Commonwealth Office piece of scare-mongering advice, and I'd tried my hardest to read travel magazines articles and books to prepare myself for my trip. Looking back, I can honestly say that nothing can prepare you for the shock to the system which is India. One article read, "India is not a holiday...it's an experience" and I don't think I could have put it any better.
While setting off through the Heathrow departure gate for the second time wasn't nearly as daunting as the first, my thoughts were scattered as we came in over India. "Wait what why am I here?! What was I thinking?!" and yet, as soon as my plane touched down, I knew I'd made the right decision. I've been in Delhi for 24 hours and tonight we're heading on the overnight train to Dehra Dun, were seen through rose tinted glasses. I have ignored the rubbish, the cold (coldest Winter for 42 years!) and the sheer populous and saw only the fruit stalls piled high with the most inticing stacks of exotic fruits, the women clothed in the most intricately embroided Saris and frock suits, and the cows that chose to have a nice sit down in the middle of the dual carriageway. The cars stacked 4 across in a two lane road, the tuck-tucks weaving in and out snarling at the stationary drivers, and the shouting, the singing, the sheer noise of...India. Within 30 minutes of getting lost with my travelling partner Flo in the centre of the Main Bazaar, forgetting our hotel's name, and ignoring all the key advice we'd been given about 'personal safety' (why not share a cab with a stranger if it's half the price..?), I am in love.
|Delhi - complete with Tuck-tuck (the yellow/green cart in the corner)|
|A tiny glimpse of Connaught Place!|