Monday, April 19, 2010

Delhi revisted

One of my favorite aspects of our trip to India was our driver. He was so incredibly sweet and one of the only people that didn't expect things from us.

He tried his hardest to speak English, even though he struggled. Whenever we had a new guide we would tell them how great the driver was and offer compliments to tell him, which were unfortunately brushed off. He attempted to narrate things and I'll never forget seeing men carrying a corpse covered in marigolds while others followed behind. He simply said, 'that's death'.

Somewhere in my notebook I have written that the driver was paid 3,200 rupees ($70 USD) a month. He told us that after being curious how much I paid for my custom tunics. It certainly is very humbling.

I could only offer so many 'dhanyavaad' (thank yous). We showed him our appreciation for everything with a large tip. I was honestly sad we had to part ways.

There were several other things I didn't write about before:

- 'Use Dipper at Night' (flash your lights when overtaking) and 'Blow Horn' on the back of nearly every truck along the roads. They were all very colorful and interestingly decorated.

- The Hanuman (monkey) temple. We had seen this temple throughout our stay in coming and going, but we had yet to visit. Right before we left for Nepal we were able to go on what happened to be one of the most holy days in the Hindu faith - Vijaya Dashami, which is the culmination of the 9 nights 'Navratri'. The city was surprisingly very calm and quiet - no honking or crazy traffic.

- At the temple I received a Kalava / nada chhadi bracelet, for Dasara Navaratri, to remove bad fate and evil. I continue to wear it even today.

- Everywhere we read about how awful the Indira Gandhi Airport is, however we were very shocked, because it wasn't awful at all. There were a variety of food options, books in English, air conditioning, and they are even well organized with a separate Hajj terminal.

- It never occurred to me that safety measures weren't in effect more - from scaffolding and buildings that appeared very unstable to babies without car seats. I kept thinking about how many people most likely die from preventable accidents. Unfortunately with so many motorbikes and not so many helmets that has to be a fairly regular occurrence. The thought of reincarnation must give Hindus a sense of peace.

And a funny side note... I was walking down the street after we moved into our new apartment and were getting settled back in Munich.

The kitchen guy was installing everything, but he needed me to go pick something up, so I was walking past my favorite Indian restaurant. Out comes one of the men that works there and he said, 'I thought I saw you walking past'. It was so sweet of him to pop out and say hi. He wanted to know where I had gone for the past few months. I was excited to tell him I had actually visited India. It was definitely one of those it's great to be welcomed back moments.

4 comments:

Lori said...

I love the bit about the man at your neighborhood Indian restaurant. How cute! And what a nice "welcome home" feeling.

Emily said...

Is it sad that I want to invite him to our housewarming party when we have it?

J. Christina Huh said...

Hello,

I love the fonts that you use on your photos, could you do a post on the fonts (i.e. name, where you got them, etc?). I particularly like the Arabic-looking font in the marigolds photo.

Emily said...

J. Christina Huh...
I will work on that for you.

The arabic style font is called Alhambra and can be downloaded for free at dafont.com