Sunday, November 9, 2014

Friday In India

Americans must truly be known by our fatness, because I feel like I have done nothing but eat all day at the insistence of our Indian friends. They are constantly insisting on us being full even when we insist that we are already full. Right now, we are are eating Domino’s Pizza... delivered by bicycle not by air. I am still working through my post travel body crisis as I like to call it. My body is getting old and does not respond well to long travel. I was not hungry at all tonight and really just wanted to go to bed for a long long time. However, I was strongly encouraged to eat  two slices of pizza and plate of rice, paneer and dal to satisfy our gracious hosts! :) No complaints! It's funny really! 

Today (Friday) after 2nd breakfast, we went to Dilli Haut for some “window shopping”. This is a souvenir market that particularly caters to foreigners. In fact you actually have to pay 20 rupees per person to even get in. There was enough “real cashmere” to stretch across the entire country of India. I loved the colorful atmosphere. Savita was a wonderful bargain judge for me. I am still growing accustom to the currency exchange rate, so I was thankful to have her arguing with shop owners for me. Although, they were quite stubborn at Dilli Hautt so we only left with three pairs of earrings (one of the ten Forever Family Anniversary gifts I want to find for the girls). 

After we left the market, we went looking for a specific location in relation to the girls past. We found the Muslim area (our girls come from a Muslim family) and took pictures that I hope will bring some answers to them when they have questions. I was so thankful to our friend who drove for miles and asked rickshaw driver after rickshaw driver where this location was. It meant so much to me!

There were people all over the streets. Adult and children alike. There were also cows. Not one or two cows but dozens of cows! This was the first area that I really saw people begging. I saw mothers going car to car begging for a rupee or two while their children played mere feet from the insane traffic zipping by. Some were seated on blankets on the sidewalk while others just sat on the curb. I spotted one precious little boy who was probably only two years old at the most. He was jumping up and down off the curb completely unconcerned with the cars. 

From here, we went off to locate the orphanage. I really don’t have the words to describe what it felt to stare at the building where our daughters have lived for the last three years. It’s a lonely building at the end of the road. I’ve seen pictures of it before but to see it in real life was truly sobering. It’s across the street from a park area. There were children peering through the gate of the park out toward the orphanage. I wondered if those children were street children... orphans themselves yet not fortunate enough to make it into a home like The Welfare Home for Children.

We sat there for a few minutes just staring at the building in silence. Just taking it all in. The white washed walls. The gate with the guard. The closed up windows with no children running by (I was hoping to spot some little eyeballs looking out). The basket in the window where babies are dropped off in the middle of the night. The finance building across the street. The trash in the road. This was the place where chunks of our hearts have lived for so long. In just a couple of days we would get these chunks back. 

We drove on past the orphanage, and stopped at a little cafe for a coffee break. At this point I was quite miserable because I had to su su (pee) something fierce! We asked the barista where the washrooms were. The women’s was locked. This was a bad omen for sure. So we went back and I decided I would just not drink anything and suffer through. Then they told us there was another upstairs so back out we went, up the stairs to an identical pair of washrooms. I could tell by the outside I was not going to appreciate the inside very much. I was not wrong. I’m happy to tell you I survived my first sqatty-potty! I felt so much better, so I enjoyed a little cafe frappe. It was so strange knowing that our daughters were just a few blocks back up the road. I wondered what they were doing. I wondered if they were as anxious to meet us as we are to meet them.

We headed back to the apartment after this coffee break. The sun was setting over Delhi. It was beautiful. You could actually look directly at the sun for a bit because the smog drowned out it’s harshness. At this point I was crashing. Our friends told me to take a nap in the car so I could press on through the evening. I said, “There is no way I would be able to fall asleep in this traffic!” Well, I lied... I was able to fall asleep in that traffic! 

Traffic... everyone tells you how crazy it is in Delhi. You must experience this for yourself... it’s not something that can be explained. I have seen nothing else like it in my entire life. It’s impressive really. I told our friends  that I now know why they say “Namaste!” to each other. Namaste is a greeting but it means that all of our souls are connected. In order to drive in Delhi traffic your soul or mind MUST be connected to all the others on the road. I see no other way for it to work. It’s as if there is a strange rhythm to it all. To us it seems like chaos but to them it is just driving. These people treat roads like a huge Tetris game mixed with Frogger.  

We finally made it back to the apartment and here we are. It’s been a really long day and I am going to get some sweet rest before our trip to the Taj Mahal tomorrow. I will write more soon. 

Until next time. -K

(This was from Friday. Will add pics soon)

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