Tuesday, May 5, 2009

From Luxury to Cacophony

(You would have read this yesterday, but a power outage in the cyber cafe I was writing in crashed all my efforts, and the cafe never recovered all evening. So I'll try again.)

From the cultural superiority of Paris to the cacophony of Delhi, India. In one long flight, we arrived into Delhi on Sunday evening to a 37 degree heatwave. I have never been so happy to pick out a taxi pickup sign for "The Clark Family" from amongst the 300 other signs. Out taxi driver managed to navigate us out of the bustling energy of the airport (after we cleared customs for Canadians, who are at risk for swine flu, and required a special form to be let in; everyone wore masks who talked to us) and onto the highway. The weaving in and out, driving with no lights, constant honking, and avoiding the frequent barricade obstacles that divert traffic through the immense construction on the highway was enough to keep us awake, despite the time of 1 am. Adrian enjoyed seeing the 6 elephants and cow that accompanied us on the highway, along with all the mini cars and families on motorcycles.

In Delhi, we stayed in "Little Tibet" an area that has Tibetan refugees clearly running all the hotels and shops. Our hotel for the night cost us only $9, but we were clearly sharing the rent with the local mosqitoes, and I got quite a few bites. We found a great little coffee shop and an internet cafe, and were starting to settle in when it was time to take the overnight bus up north to the mountains of Dharamsala, a place known for being much cooler, as well as being the larger Tibetan Refugee colony in India, and home to the Dalai Lama. That would be a ride to remember.

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