Thursday, January 5, 2012

And I'm Back! Namaste from India.

I’m back! After two lovely weeks back home in the good old USA, I am returning to my traveling and as a result, my blogging. I have just arrived in Delhi, India about to start the second of my three-part medical student exchange tour of the world. The flight was long - just under 15 hours non-stop from Newark, NJ (where I had my layover) to New Delhi. In retrospect, I should have either stayed awake during the entire flight or took some benadryl once I arrived at my accommodation because I was unable to sleep much my first night here and am dreading the time adjustment. India is 11.5 hours ahead of Minnesota, so I am attempting to flip my nights and days in as short of time as possible. 
The flight was rather uneventful although way too long to be sitting on a full plane. I unfortunately had a middle seat and had people on either side of me. I slept fitfully on the plane and arrived in New Delhi shortly after 9pm local time. Thankfully I had secured lodging prior to my arrival and had arranged for the hotel to pick me up from the airport and bring me directly here. Since India was a British colony for many years, the driver’s side is the right side of the car and people drive on the left-hand side of the road. The streets I have seen so far are fairly well maintained but people weave in and out of traffic like crazy. It’s like riding around in Haiti except for the roads are nicer so people drive faster. I was very relieved to arrive in one piece at my hotel. Unfortunately, there is not WiFi in the hotel so I am not sure when I will be able to post while I am in New Delhi. 
My hotel was rather cheap - around $20/day for my own room and private bathroom and shower. I don’t think I am in the most convenient location for sight seeing and will most likely spend today trying to figure out what is the best method of transportation. Delhi has a fairly new metro system but I’m not sure if my hotel is near a metro stop. There are an overwhelming number of choices of places to stay in Delhi and I think after I have spent a few days here, I will be much wiser at how to choose a place to stay. But, I can’t complain - my hotel is clean and I feel safe and secure in my room and the hotel staff have been very friendly so far. The only (minor) problems are that my room window faces noisy street and I don’t think I have hot water for showering. 
I am pretty nervous to venture out into the city. There are about 13 million people in Delhi and as a very white Western-dressed female, I know I will stand out. I am hoping the hotel staff will be helpful for me to figure out tours of the city and am really looking forward to next week when I fly to Jaipur to meet up with my sister who is studying here for a class at St. Kate’s for three weeks! 

Several hours later...
I met another American staying in my hotel and found out that there is a metro station not far from the hotel. I decided to venture out in search of some WiFi and was able to find it in South Delhi at the Kunsum Travel Cafe in the Hauz Khas Village. I think I am going to take it easy after posting and head back to the hotel for an afternoon of reading and maybe watching some tv shows I have downloaded. I plan to go to bed rather early tonight and hopefully will sleep much better and reset my clock. Now that I have found the metro, I think I will head into Delhi tomorrow for a Hop On Hop Off bus tour :) Hope all is well and I will post as I am able to! Namaste.

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