Tuesday, April 12, 2011

"Welcome to Old Delhi," she said with a smirk.

Day One in India.

We've arrived safely Monday April 11th at 6ish in the evening after what our conventional calendar would have called over a day of travel time (32.5 hours from start to finish). Of course we followed the daylight to get here, so the time changed as we flew, effectively giving us opportunity to travel into the future. It wasn't easy, but then again no one said it would be.

After we landed, Lori (our hostess, and dear friend of Lexi's parents) greeted us the at the airport and lead us back to our car where almost immediately she offered us a few crisp apples to refresh our travel worn bodies. While we munched, our driver wove us in and out of traffic like a skilled magic carpet maker toward the neighborhood of Embassy's where we'll be staying. It's a lovely apartment around the corner from the American Embassy school, in the Bulgarian Embassy complex. We were welcomed there by a lovely woman named Amari, who has generously taken us in for the duration of our stay in Delhi.

It was only a matter of time before exhaustion set, and after a quick shower I was fast asleep...until about 4am, when  restlessness woke my body up, and I decided after a few attempts to go back to sleep, that this was as good a time as any to sit, and to practice. It was only a matter of time, then finally rest.

After a few hours of deep sleep, Lexi woke me announcing Lori would be arriving shortly to pick us up. Today's agenda consisted of Old Delhi, by way of the new subway system. What amazing contrast from the roadways. Taking the subway was like being anywhere else in the world with a efficient railway, that is until we walked the flight of stairs back up into day again. "Welcome to Old Delhi," she said with a smirk.

If I could translate in words what Old Delhi was like for me at first sight, I would probably be in a different profession, but I will tell you this: it wasn't Love.

There were tents lining a small path, which we trailed along for a block or two, until we hit a larger street lined with hundreds of small store fronts. Similar to other large cities I've been (Bangkok, being the closest in resemblance), Old Delhi sort of slaps you in the face  before shaking your hand. "Welcome," it says. We went first to the spice market by way of Rickshaw, driven by a boy no more than sixteen years old blessed with man calves. The spice market was once beautiful, you can smell it, the buildings themselves are well worn, saturated with spice. But the place is older now, bruised and battered. Each landmark taught us a bit more about Indian history, inviting us to witness in the flesh, only a handful of the eleven faces (phases) Delhi has undergone in its lifetime. We walked through the grounds of the Red Fort, fortress and palace of the last Mongul ruler, son of the emperor Shah Johan (who built the Taj Mahal) and saw the remains of what once were glorious gardens before the British invasion. Like Lexi said, we also visited a Jain Temple/Charity Birds Hospital and Sanctuary, as well as the largest mosque outside the middle east. Before heading home again, we took a tour of the American Embassy School, stopping when Lori crossed paths with friends from her nine years of living in Delhi, and teaching at AES. We are finding our bearings, familiarizing ourselves with the streets and other landmarks. This is exciting.

The weather has been moderate in temperature, we were told there was even a little stint of rain while we rested this afternoon, which is lucky for this time of year.

It's been a full day, I too am so grateful for Lori's guidance, and the sweetness of sun salutations. Tomorrow, I hope for a tutorial from Lexi on how to make her jewelry, as well as a yoga class through the school in the afternoon. I will write more, and soon! So, thanks for keeping in touch

Here's to you, for reading,
May you be blessed with a wonderful day ahead!



  1. love you so so much, sounds so exciting, keep writing as much as you can!!! and post it here, you'll have readers:)

  2. I was delighted to read that you arrived safely, and hope to hear more when you get the chance =)