india is an assault to my senses. to everything i have known, learned, thought and felt about the world. yes, i knew it would be different. a priori. now, what i feel is that i have to learn everything anew. how to walk, talk, climb stairs, cross the street etc. with my set of life skills and cultural gps i am as new and naked to this as a newborn. and please, don't confuse this statement with "feeling like i was born again". the difference is huge.
every street corner, every food-stand smell, every thing around me has the sensory power of 100000 pictures, therefore 100000000 words, therefore no blog post i could every write, no coffee chat we could ever have would allow me to express what is going on in my head. i am having a difficult time absorbing all the new things that are coming my way, deciphering them and stopping the feeling of frustration from constantly trying to make sense of all the non-sense, or better called, chaos. it's not as bad as it sounds because i am comforting myself with the thought that i am a strong, independent woman who will eventually get used to it. :) its my very own sisyphean challenge. i know all it takes is accepting it.
traveling by train in india is like a box of assorted chocolates. some good, some bad, some awful and some surprisingly excellent. it's, of course, a matter of taste. my first train ride was a 27 hour ride in an AC compartment. it was clean, nice, we got good food, a bit too cold (!!!!) but enough electricity to play plants and zombies all night long. almost. :)
goa was amazing, rain or no rain, it will have its own blog post one day. mumbai was a short yet intensely lived experience. we arrived there in the evening and had to leave the next morning, but i still had the chance to ride on the mumbai locals. and that's all i can say. really. nothing more to add.
except for the fact that i was awed. AWED. seeing pictures of people riding on trains or clinging to the outside of the train is one thing, but seeing those people with your own eyes, watching them get on the train even before it stops, hearing them scream war shouts as they cram and push each other in the wagons.the platforms were like a big after-concert scenery. swarms of people coming to you or going in the same direction as you, just like driving, except for the honking - no lanes, no rules.
you know that feeling when you're having rice and enjoying it quite a bit, but it's quite dry, you eat it anyway, trying to finish it fast so you take another bite even before finishing what you already have in your mouth and the minute the fork or spoon approaches your open mouth this feeling of panic hits cause rice might fall out while you bring in the second load? i know you dont. this is the feeling india gives me. surprise, enjoyment and a bit of panic.
the greatest part? i'm having 2l + of water a day. and the cheese to my macaroni! ;)