the first time I laid eyes on India was from above, circling Mumbai waiting to land seeing the clusters of light illuminating from street lamps and houses along the coast bringing back the magical image of the fire flies along the river banks from a boat ride I took in Malaysia not too long ago.
The airport was huge and it felt like the plane was taxing forever eventually we stopped and everyone eager to get out. Not knowing what to expect from this incredible country the only knowledge I have is that of what I’ve heard from people who have been here before and what I’ve read in books or seen in movies, this is going to be my new adventure into finding out for myself what India is really about.
Leaving the airport with our 12 Bags (I kid you not) the first thing that hits you is the heat. As soon as you walk out of the airport, it feels like you in Durban, except it’s hotter, and nothing looks familiar. We find our driver and proceed to the taxi, by the time we load all the bags in the back of the vehicle we already dripping wet, thank god for air conditions in the car or as they call it here AC. Mumbai, contrary to what I had heard from others was not that congested with people, but I suppose that at 2am it isn’t the same city as it is when the sun is up. Never the less seeing rows of people sleeping on the side of the road was an experience of it’s own, just seeing Mumbai at that hour is something I think most people don’t get to see. For a third world country that people say India is the roads were rather good apart from the unfamiliar scenery along the roads one could have sworn you were in JHB city.
After driving through most of the night or morning rather, once it got light the first thing I noticed about India from looking out of the window was how rich it was, now I say this because it was so green and lush and the only word that came to mind when trying to describe it was that it was rich. Now I know India is a third world country and there is a lot of poverty here, but my first impression was that it was ‘rich’ maybe not in money and I know that I’ve barely spent 48hrs in this country but somehow I my first gut instinct and curiousness of India is how rich it really is? Maybe by the end of my trip I will have an answer or at the very least an idea of how ‘rich’ India really is.
I guess we got a gentle introduction to India, for the first day in India we didn’t have to deal with any big or major crowds yet (Then again we haven’t gone shopping yet) nor have we dealt with any major traffic, although I must say that driving in these roads is a whole new skill on it’s own, but what seems like chaos to us is normal to everyone here, but like I said we still hadn’t really experienced major traffic not like the kind that was described to us over and over again by person after person who has been here. I guess for now I can say, apart from the heat (Which is pretty much similar to my South East Asia experience so not a major shock) India has so far given us a gentle welcome, but this is just the beginning who knows what lies ahead for us in this adventure after all going up the roller coaster is always more pleasurable then the rest of the ride, but it’s also the part where you keep wondering when you going to drop and while the drop may not be quite as pleasurable who is to say that one can not enjoy the free fall, after all what fun would a roller coaster ride be without it’s ups and more importantly without it’s downs I guess this is the part of the adventure where we brace ourselves for what’s to come.