Well, we made it.. less than one week left in India. Much like the school semester, the first half of the summer felt long and challenging, while the last half went by in a blink. As the end of my Indian summer is soon approaching, I am making my last visits to family and friends. While visiting some family last night in Delhi, they were all curious about how I like India and how my experience has been. My aunt said, “Ok, describe India in three words.” I was stumped. I began to think and realized that this task was close to impossible to accomplish. As noted in my last entry, my mind has been racing with different thoughts and emotions every day, so condensing how I feel about India into three words was something I just couldn’t do (and didn’t want to).
Being here for just two months, I made sure to take advantage of any free time to travel and experience new things. We have definitely run into certain trials and tribulations along the way. Last weekend, Sylvia and I traveled to Hyderabad, where Sophie and Emma graciously hosted us! The four of us were discussing how our time here has been and the question, “what was your breaking point this summer?” came up. For me, it was one day in Delhi when Sylvia and I decided to take a bus tour around to see some of the most famous sites. The day started out fine and on schedule, but once we reached India Gate, it took a turn. As soon as we stepped off the bus, swarms of vendors crowded us (in 110 degree weather might I add). A woman asked if I wanted henna, and as I was saying no, she grabbed my hand and proceeded to do a huge design. We finally escaped the crowd and before we could take a classic tourist selfie, people were following us trying to get pictures. After we left that hectic environment, we couldn’t find our tour bus. We then went to the next stop to try and catch it while trying to speak to customer service through the language barrier. Once we finally figured out the stop, I just remember standing at the bus stop, drenched in sweat, a little nauseous, with henna dripping down my hand and now stained on my cloths, thinking, “Can this bus take me home??”
Its times like these that test your patience and make you question your sanity for choosing to come to India for a whole summer. Ever since this day, though, I have had a new perspective during my time here. I have learned to take things as they come and to stay calm (most of the time) in difficult situations. Another thing I learned is that no matter how chaotic the journey to get somewhere was, once we got there, the sights of history and culture washed away the stress and negativity. I have learned a lot about myself this summer. This is by far the most adventurous thing I have ever done in my life. Before this, I never really considered myself to be a risk taker. But stepping out of my comfort zone and into this environment, I have definitely found new strength and patience that I didn’t know I had.
So, I guess if I had to give a three word description of India, I would say: See for yourself.
Trip to Hyderabad