Trip Start Mar 14, 2004
290Trip End Ongoing
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India is an assault on every one of your senses. Sight, sound, smell, touch, taste--- nothing will be left undisturbed. In some ways, that’s a good thing.
TASTE: The food is excellent and fortunately, my time in Central America and on the road in general may help keep me healthy … for a while anyway. I’m keeping my fingers crossed. Meat has been rather elusive but the variety of veggies in these amazing curries keeps me looking forward to the next meal.
SMELL: There is no avoiding the mix of odors on Delhi’s streets. One minute you are taking in the pleasing aromas of restaurant row mixed with an occasional blast of exhaust fumes, followed by the smell of a rotting pile of garbage and human urine on the next corner. Sometimes, I think if everyone farted at once it would smell better, if only for a few moments.
SOUND: Apparently, the most important tool any driver in India has at his or her disposal is the horn. It is a constant hum, unavoidable, and worth ignoring or at least getting used to. Combine this with the fact that almost everyone seems to have a reason to try and talk to you: “where are you going? Rickshaw? Need hotel? Airport? Which country are you from? Excuse me sir, Sir, SIR? What’s your name? “ It never ends.
TOUCH: So far, this sense has really only been molested by the intense heat. At the end of an afternoon, you sure can feel the city grime on your skin and feeling it all come off in the shower is pure satisfaction. The feeling the shower water leaves behind, however, remains a mystery.
SIGHT: This sense is the one that is overwhelmed most with continuous, new information. Between avoiding the cow shit that’s as common as a Cambodian landmine and not getting run over by rickshaws, motorbikes, cars, or massive delivery trucks, Delhi keeps you soberly on your toes. As a country with over 1.1 billion people, it kinda goes without saying that people are everywhere. At any moment of the day or night, you can look any random direction and you will most certainly see someone. If not a person, then a cow. The style of clothing is extremely colorful and the women in dressed in their sarees range from supermodel gorgeous to haggard old bats that should return to their cave. Depending on religion, the men either wear some type of turban or head wrap or have perfect haircuts. Trash and signs of poverty are everywhere. Eventually, those two things just blend into the landscape but I think it’s because I’ve seen this in so many other places that I may be desensitized to it.