Hell has indeed frozen over
I arrived in Delhi last Monday afternoon after a late night flight from Istanbul. Upon arriving at the airport I found that there were no working ATMs and the twenty Turkish lira which I brought with me would not be accepted by the currency exchange. Not to fear, I found three American dollars stuffed in the bottom of my bag with which I haggled a ride into the city on a motorized rickshaw. All in all a very fitting way to arrive in India. As for Delhi itself, it is an absolute mess but with a certain charm to it. Think of Guatemala City combined with Naples, Italy and then multiply that by four. People, cows, pigs, animals, bikes, rickshaws and trash litter the streets to the soundtrack of yelling vendors and an uneccesary amount of honking.
After two days in Delhi I hopped a night train to the city of Jodhpur in the region of Rajistan. Not wanting to travel in any posh conditions I opted for the second class sleeper car which consisted of one large car with no individual compartment, no bedding or sheets provided, vendors walking up and down the hall all night, and people sitting and sleeping anywhere they could find an available spot. Quite the experience.
Jodhpur itself is a quaint little city of about 1.2 million in the central Western region of Rajistan. It is a town full of white and blue houses lining small, busy streets all to the backdrop of the majestic Mehrangarh Fort. The fort is incredibly well preseverved (thanks to the sale of bat excrement which built up over the years in the fort) and in my opinion is even more impressive than La Alhambra in Granada, Spain. My second day in the town I took to the streets and ended up playing soccer with some school children, learned how traditional Indian bracelets are made, and sat on a stoop drinking chia and talking with a group of teenagers for an hour and a half.
Yet as they say, "what goes up, most come down." I awoke in the middle of the night to a good case of stomach cramps, which is quite common for travelers in the region, that kept me on my feet throughout the night and has satyed with me the last few days. Despite my illness I decided to take a 11 AM train to the town of Jaisalmer the next morning. Although I was initially pleased to find my single seat next to the window, my excitement quickly faded as I baked in the sun the entire way and in a moment reminiscent of a certain incident involving my dad, brother, and a bottle of urine on a road trip to California, I awoke from a mild slumber to find that the child in the compartment above me was vomiting out the window. The vomit was then falling down the side of the bus and coming in my open window splashing my shorts, arm and books. In addition to the saying "what goes up, must come down," others use the saying "payback's a..." well, that's a whole different story. To wrap up we'll just go with: Welcome to India!
Currently reading: "Death in the Afternoon" by Ernest Hemingway
Currently Listening to: "Cancer and Delirium" by J. Tillman