Saturday, December 09, 2006

india fast forward

i am in india. i am safe. i am traveling with two friends of mine and feeling comforted by this.
i spent the first 24 hours in delhi on my own. it is do-able but so hard to be on my own. if i was a man it would be different. but as a woman i am swallowed whole by the touts and taxi drivers. i am grasping for space and gasping for air. i am so busy trying to push myself away from those surrounding me i haven't the capacity to enjoy the things around me. with three it is better.

unfortunatly my friends only have a few days with me before they head south for a wedding, so we are on india fast forward. already the time here has felt longer, we have lived more than we typically do in one day.
we grabbed a taxi this morning, 6.15am, our set up taxi didn't arrive so we found another. the first thing we do is haggle a price, the second is stop for petrol where there is a loud argument in hindi between our driver and the driver of another taxi trying to pull into the same pump. we cheer along with our driver and it seems we have won. then are driver backs away and asks us to get out of the car.
they were worried the car would explode, so it is a safety measure for us not to be in it while he refuels. the passsanger of the other car is out as well and he is indian but speaks english. he informs us that our driver broke down at the airport a few weeks ago, and his driver helped him with his car, therefore the default of the gas pump.
no driver here knows where they are going, nomne of them are from delhi. they all drive in circles and drop you at random places and then want atip. it's really frustrating, but what can you do?

last night we wandered around the trsin station during the dark searching for an atm. it was filled with the poor rolling out their sleeping rags and giving us crazy looks.
we road a 2nd class train today and had a little drummer girl and performing boy with a drawn on moustach roll around the isle for money.
we reached the taj mahal today and will visit the grounds tomorrow before we have to catch a train to our next stop.
i am well. it is so beautiful and sad here. it is life amplified. a crazy disneyland that is both very dirty and very dangerous.

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