India,Motorbiking

Arrival in India

24 Jul , 2014  

With the handles of plastic bag attached to each ear, securing our bed from possible disaster, I decided it was finally time to resurrect my blogging.
Mother, please, contain yourself! It’s not that exciting.

So, as some of you know, I now live in India. ¬†I have done so since 12 days back, and I will do so till December or January. Most of you probably don’t know this, I’ve been hard to keep track of this past year… Leading a hermit life I’ve glanced away from most messages and missed phone calls, assuring myself that I would get in touch at some point. In most cases, I haven’t, and I apologies to you all for that. Although, now I believe that will change! So Hurray for my new found socialising skills and blasted mini-phone-phobia.

You see, just about everything is done by phone calls here. There are no online food deliveries here, the Bullet mechanic doesn’t do text and… well the list goes on. I remember coming to India my first time round, being told that the main train station had been bombed and that there was some mystical muslim festival going on in the part of town I needed to get to (which was far from true, there was no bomb and no festival), and somehow ending up in Kashmir. Even thought Father had explicitly told me not to go to Bangladesh and Kashmir. Anyway, while bobbing about Srinagar lake on a gondola like vessel, I noticed that every single person had a mobile phone. The little man with torn clothes and bare feet, rowing what seemed to be huge piles of spinach, had a phone playing some catchy indian tune. The young boy sitting on a bank while his family cleaned themselves in the lake sat chatting on an old Nokia 3310. Everyone has a phone in India, it seems regardless to poverty. Literally everyone is just a phone call away.

Anyway, on arrival our friend Kundy¬†picked us up in her nippy little car. Some of you will recall that I met her in Vietnam, and lost her after merely a day of knowing each other. So we wizzed in, around and out of traffic and then arrived at our new residence. It turned out to be in a pleasant area, one with beautiful houses that are completely unique and with friendly wavy guards sat under small thatched roofs. We were introduced to French Horder, I say that with love… but honestly he manages to find a lot of french tenants. He showed us the room, it was perfect. A big open space with an attached bathroom, what more could we ask for? Next, we went up a flight of stairs into the “main living area” and were introduced to Ganesh, a small stocky somewhat lopsided man that we were told was the cook and general do it all of the house. Ganesh rushed off to the market to buy milk so we could have chai. As we sat and waited for his return our roommates started turning up, one by one, searching for breakfast before going off to their internships. They were sweet french girls who we would come to know. We didn’t chat for long as we were exhausted from the flight, so with an extra single mattress we went back down the stairs and into our room.

The first days we found ourselves moist most of the time, I don’t think I’ve ever experienced this kind of heat and humidity. It really is unbelievable. Luckily, one gets used to it. Not in the sense that ones body gets used to it, just that ones mind gets used to being constantly sweaty.

We left for Pushkar on an overnight bus. While waiting to leave sweat was literally dripping off my chin, there was no point wiping my forehead, those around me had also surrendered to being drenched. Not really having a choice. We changed to a little local bus in Ajmer, the roof and window was slightly broken so the nights monsoon drizzle dripped down on me. I hardly noticed though, being so excited. As soon as we knew we were moving to India we knew we’d be going to Pushkar shortly after arrival. Pushkar is the home of literally the only mechanic we trust, and I will write his name as someone might need a godsend, Niru (his shop can be found in the main market). Niru is without a doubt a great guy, everybody knows him and nobody has a bad word to say. Not even his bullet mechanic rival. It was always natural for us to return to Niru for an Enfield. He had a beauty lined up for us, a 2002 Delhi plates, 350 cc Bullet Electra. Red and silver with a great sound, we hesitated but ended up buying her. After every one-kick start I find myself glancing around to see if anyone saw; the Bullet who starts with one kick. Amazing.

She carried us 400 km to Delhi. Done in one day in 10 hours. 400 km might not sound like a lot, but believe me it’s an eternity on these roads. All produce in India goes by road, and the main road into Delhi is a joke. We spent 10 hours dodging trucks, keeping out of the way of maniac car drivers, guessing if cows were on their way across the road, guessing if people were on their way across the road, making sure that yellow lights weren’t the headlights on cars, trucks, and bikes coming from the opposite direction, getting caught in monsoon rains and dealing with dirt being thrown back by wet truck tyres. Sure, that sounds sort of negative, but when you’re aware of it all- it really doesn’t matter. So what if we took 10 h driving 400 km, we’re in India on a Bullet!! Functioning traffic and roads is just too much to ask for.

Back in Delhi we began to get ready for school. We’re attending IIT, the Indian Institute of Technology, and studying Computer Science. Being exchange students is pretty luxurious, we get to pick pretty much any course from any department. Mostly we’re sticking to CS, although we might do a course in the Electrical Engineers field and a course in creative writing.
Getting registered is a bit of a hassle, or mostly just guesswork. They needed all sorts of papers that we weren’t really prepared for, although the whole process was pretty laid back. “You come back in *head wobble* days”, so we’ll probably go back with the rest of the papers soon.

So that’s it for now! I’ll get into some interesting stuff about IIT in the next post!

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One Response

  1. mum says:

    So proud of my girl, and Jacob too. Explore everywhere you can, learn whatever they can teach you, be kind to everyone you meet, keep well and keep going, don’t ever stop. If anyone tels you “you can’t do that” just do it!
    Look after each other, and most of all, be happy.
    Spread joy wherever you go.
    All my love, always,
    Mum xxx

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