And then I cried...
Trip Start Nov 24, 2011
16Trip End Jan 24, 2012
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Got to my guesthouse, Treetops, REALLY early (6a). The owners are a couple and soooo sweet. Tannie greeted me at the door, told me my room wouldn't be ready until 10a, but let me use another room to freshen up and rest until breakfast. I absolutely LOVE this place! Treetops is very quaint and in a great neighborhood, close to the metro (subway). Tannie and Murad are amazing. They sit and have breakfast with you, and help you plan your day
I had planned on going on a tour of New Delhi given by a former street child. But, I couldn’t find the place! Navigated the metro (subway) okay, but when I came up in New Delhi, I was overwhelmed by the amount of people, noise, and garbage. I knew there was no way I was going to be able to find the place I was looking for on my own. Started asking people where the Buddhist Retreat Center was and was told “go that way…it’s two streets away on the right” by one person. Got to that point…it wasn’t there, so asked someone who told me, “go over the bridge, through the train station, go left and straight”, which was the opposite direction of what the first person told me. Started to go that way and asked someone else, and he said it was to the RIGHT across the bridge. I’m a quick learner…didn’t take me long to realize that in India, it’s rude to tell someone you don’t know, so you just make it up which usually includes some great elaboration. Mind you, they don't point with their finger here either, so they use their entire arm which makes "that way" anywhere within the radius of an arm movement. And, Eastern Indians do this head thing that's like a "yes" and a "no" at the same time. So, if you say, "that way?" They make a figure 8 with their head which I still am trying to figure out exactly what it means.
Needless to say, I missed the tour, but DID find a place that would sell me a SIM card for my phone so I could contact home
My worries came to rest when my passport (and a copy) returned and a 12yo wearing a bodyguard shirt showed up. Yes! I was saved. I had my own personal bodyguard! Or so I thought…
They asked me for a passport size photo! Really??!?!? Who carries those around? They wouldn’t cut the pic out of the copy of my passport, so I went (with my bodyguard) to find another shop that would.
By this time, it was starting to get dark. Knew I didn’t want to be out after dark, so decided to head back to Treetops. Got off at the Haus Kauz stop I got on, went up the stairs, and this was NOT the same place! Went back down and then out the other exit. This wasn’t it either! Uh oh…again…what the f-ck had I done and what was I doing making INDIA my first solo trip choice? Thought maybe I had gotten off at the wrong stop. I was tired, after-all, and didn’t really pay attention to the stop name, just thought it would be Haus Kauz because that was the address of where I was staying. So, got a ticket to the next stop (it’s a good thing that the line for women’s security is MUCH shorter than the man’s side on the metro!), got off at the next stop, came up outside smack dab into the middle of a bazaar with thousands of people. This was DEFINITELY not my stop. Went down to ask for directions and then remembered my experience with that earlier in the day and decided I would just take an “auto” (an auto-rickshaw) back. The driver was more than happy to take me so he could practice his English…and get a picture of me. Something I later learned was going to be the most asked question I’d get while I was in Delhi
As soon as I got “home”, I went into my room, locked the door, and cried. If I would have asked for the wireless code for the internet earlier, I probably would have been checking into prices for flights back home. I really felt like I got in WAAAAAY over my head with this and I was starting to get really homesick. Decided I would take a hot shower, have some chai, get a good night’s sleep and decide what to do in the morning. Needless to say, I didn’t take many pictures in New Delhi. I was actually so overwhelmed with all the sights, sounds, and smells (not very nice ones, either) that I didn’t feel comfortable taking pics and being distracted.