Dazzled in Dehli
The Leela Palace,
Dear Mom and Dad
Sorry that I have not texted you before, I left my phone on the plane accidentally. I can’t believe I’m saying this but I’m managing fine without it. Maybe it’s being here in India with all my leaving cert friends but I don’t miss it at all. I know I know it’s a complete turnaround for someone who was on their phone 24/7. After a relaxing eleven-hour flight with Aer Lingus, we stepped onto the wonderful land of India. I was amazed. Apparently, my group had come at the perfect time of year because in Winter it’s witheringly cold and in Summer it’s blindingly hot. The kind air hostess said that we couldn’t have picked a better time to come. When we got off the airplane we were really hungry so we all went for food. I got a traditional dish called butter chicken which is chicken in a mildly spiced tomato sauce which was delicious. When I first walked into Dehli I was hit with the aroma of curry. It was everywhere and on everyone. I found it strong but I quickly got used to it. Dehli smells like people cooking fires, tropical flowers, sewage, incense, animal sweat and heat.
To add to my amazement my ears were surrounded by a fantastic combination of sounds. I could hear people laughing and talking in different languages. Samosas and other traditional foods were being sizzled on little camp cookers and I could hear coins being clinked at various food counters. Stalls were everywhere and owners were calling out to people to buy their wonderful products (well that’s what Felipa told me because she knew how to speak Hindi.) In addition, I could hear the honk of cars and their ghostly vroom starting and stopping in the distance. At that moment I realized how different yet the same everywhere was and the beauty of that. I wished I could have taken a picture right there and then. Tomorrow we are going to the airport to retrieve my phone and I am half relieved because as much as I enjoyed being phone free and taking in the world I will be happy to be able to call someone if I get lost. Did you know that today we passed a river called the Yamuna which has seen at least seven great dynasties rise and fall since the founding of Indraprastha? I love the way the sky turns pink each evening at dusk because the air is tinged with the pink sand of Rajasthan. I love the way drivers slow down to avoid meandering cows and eagles flying low overhead. The thing I love most about India is the buzz. The atmosphere here is electric. Everyone is wearing bright colourful clothes and there is a chain reaction of smiles and happiness. My friend and I are loving it here and I can’t wait to see you in two weeks.