My first blog from New Delhi, India is coming to you hot of the presses, and I cannot emphasize “hot” enough. As I sit in my Airbnb drinking a Red Bull that would could easily pass for “cold” in most contexts but here is barely room temperature, it is 40C which is 108/”are you kidding me?!” in Fahrenheit.
The sensory experiences of Delhi ebb and flow betwixt the stalwart gates of upper-class communities, whose perimeters are speckled with vendors of incense. The sensations continue .5 a kilometer neath and overpass where dozens of families compete for shade from the demoralizing heat- their clothing dyed a dusty hue of air pollution. While these class contracts are stark and abundant, its not up the street in wealth or down the street in poverty that I’ve found the most sensational… its in the intersections.
Being a pedestrian in Delhi is absolutely the most mortifying, jarring, and enthralling identities I’ve held to date.. (even more so than being a graduate student!) At any given moment, people experiencing life through through different (and often opposing) ideals, communication modes, traditions, and classes are weaving through rickshaws, cars, and each other. Adrift in the chaos, if only for a second for a second, everyone seems equal- we all just want to get to where we are going.
I am entirely unprepared to attempt deciphering the kaleidoscope of scents, religions, and, languages that underpin Delhi, but food… I can talk about food. Dining thus far has been both economical and captivating, I do foresee the quest to find a serviceable iced coffee to be a cinematic one. See, one thing I love to do in other countries is to experience how American brands have been adapted to comply with their culture’s norms. For example, Taco Bell in Delhi offers most of the dishes we have in the states, but with chicken and/or vegetarian options flavored in varying spice mixtures because, again, cows are regal here and thus not consumed. Burger King’s burger patties are both mutton (goat) and negligible – I guess some things are consistent across all cultures. Starbucks is about the same, including the price point, which is deemed very expensive in India, where the conversion rate is 1USD = 70 rupees. So, when I said I was hunting for a “serviceable” iced coffee, what I meant was, “local and not exorbitant”. Stay tuned.
When I started practicing yoga four years ago, I told myself that one day, I would take a class in India- that promise was fulfilled.
Adjusting to the 8.5 hour time difference has been neither smooth nor wonderful but getting into the office has helped!
So far, my placement has been lovely. Things are still fresh but I am excited to see what develops and extraordinarily thankful to get to do this with another IEDPer who has thus far enhanced this experience immeasurably!
Okay, I have another liter of water to drink before I meet the recommended minimum 3L/day so I have to take off now. Chat soon!