05 12 / 2013
21 11 / 2013
This was by no means an easy trip, I can say with almost certainty that I don’t think I’ll ever be back to this country again. If i do I’d like to see the more quiet southern regions.
-The pollution is EXTREME- I can not wait to breath clean air.
-The poverty is astounding .
-The people were at times so frustrating to be around, from the pushy hauckers to the beggars to EVERYONE who wanted a tip for EVERYTHING to the creepy men starting at me- I sware the next person who looks at me is probably getting decked.
-Sometimes it was dirty, unsanitary and downright smelly.
-If I never eat Indian food again it will be too soon!
This country is also magnificent. It is rich in culture and religion and love and respect.
For every unkind person there were 3 kind ones.
For every pile of trash there was a temple or place so beautiful and intricate it took your breath away.
For every pushy hauker or gawker there was someone willing to help you or offer a blessing or show you kindness even if it was a simple smile and namaste.
For every unpleasant smell there was a robust burst of spices or a delicious cup of spicy Chai so good your sure you’ll never replicate the flavor.
This trip taught me that beauty isn’t always as clear as it seems and that having a fulfilling experience doesn’t always mean being comfortable.
Stepping out of my comfort zone and allowing myself to see India and it’s people for what they truly are and embrace them both good and bad has been one of the most exciting things Ive ever done.
This trip was a very spiritual one. ’m not a very religious person so I won’t lie and tell you this was spiritual in a religious type of way, because it wasn’t . It wasn’t about God or their gods not for me anyway..
It was spiritual in the sense that the things I saw and experienced touched my soul.
India changed me if only in the fact that it allowed me to love it not in spite of it’s flaws but because of them.
21 11 / 2013
Final Day: Day 10-Varanasi to Delhi to JFK to home!
We met at 9:30am today for our final tour! We all checked out of the hotel and we toured the site where Buddha had his first teachings. We also saw a local museum housing artifacts 1000’s of years BC.
Afterwards we were supposed to have lunch at a restaurant close by at noon but when we arrived nothing was ready even though they knew we were coming. The owner seemed not to care at all so Erik asked him “do you speak English? Cause ya Blew it” and we took everyone to another restaurant the guide suggested.
This Ended up being great because everyone loved the food at the new place and said it was some of the best we’ve had so far.
Afterwards we headed to the airport in Varanasi which tiny but thankfully a million times more modern than the crap one in Khajuarho. The checkin process was still a nightmare. The weight limit was 15kgs per bag (in Khajuarho I had mine way 20 and almost no one had to pay) some members were 5kg over and didn’t pay some were 1kg over and did. There was no rhyme or reason.
The members who had to pay had to go out of the airport and into the parking lot to some building to pay, than come back in get their boarding pass and go to security. Our flight left at 4:30pm and by 4:10 we were were still waiting on on member to come back, the security line was growing and I told Erik if I had to walk to Delhi I wasn’t spending another night here.
He tried to get information but as usual NO ONE was forthcoming. The guy who checked in Yula the member we were waiting for was a huge asshole and refused to give her passport back. Erik eventually ended up just taking it from him. The airline worker kept trying to get Erik’s name and tell him to follow him outside but luckily Erik wasn’t an Idiot and knew better than to leave the airport. It’s very different from the states and once you leave the airport you can’t come back. We finally got Yula back and through security only to find the flight had been delayed a half hour so luckily we didn’t miss it!
Erik told me he went to get a water and the guy told him 70 rupee and he said he’d had just about all he could take of this airport and of being told different prices just for not being Indian so he told the guy nope they cost 50 rupee and that’s what I’m paying, the guy shrugged and he left the money and took the water. I thought that was hysterical that he was like nope not happening and haggled for his water.
later purchased a soda for surprise: 70 rupee.
When our flight landed in JFK I had my bags checked straight through but I went with the rest of our group, only 7 people were traveling with me to JFK so we all gave our hugs and goodbyes I’m really going to miss this group!
Me and the other 7 guests checked back into the airport changed into pjs, got some coffee, did some shopping and than ended our layover at the bar with good bye drinks! The 6 hours actually went fast!
I’m currently in the air enroute to JFK. 11 hours down and only around 4 to go!! I ended up with a whole row to myself because the plane is relatively empty so I’ve been sleeping practically the whole time.41 hours and 3 planes later I’m home!