Sitting on the plane I watched “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel” and while watching it, the thought struck me that if I told my family to watch it, it might cause more panic than anything else. However I highly recommend this movie – was such an awesome intro into what to expect. My dad has already asked me not to do any traveling by my myself and always stay with my travel companion – however anyone who knows me, knows I’m not very good with authority so “I’ll try dad” was all I could muster.
I happened to break the ‘no traveling alone rule’ within my first 30 minutes of being in India. Arriving at the airport, I looked around for the domestic arrival times so to know what time Jov would be in, only to be told that the ‘domestic’ airport is “some 6 to 7 kilometers away, madam” (in the typical accent you always think an Indian is going to sound like) with the gentleman wagging his head in a manner I had read about in books. HELLO India – can feel that I’m going to love this place already!
I asked a very friendly Indian woman inside the airport if I could walk there and she said it was better to take a rickshaw (which according to my guidebook should cost 40 rupees but the driver told me it would be 200). I managed to batter the driver down, but on route it occurred to me that I was traveling alone and would not know any better if he wasn’t taking me to the airport. So calmly I told him that if he got me to the airport quickly I would pay full fare. My god, the head can do crazy things to us sometimes. In hind sight – that was an uber stupid thing to do as I was told the ride should have cost me 30 rupees max – but you live and learn.
My flight over was relatively normal except for the Indian leg of it – where local Indian sitting next to me stared at me for 4 straight hours. You know those stares that even if you stare back, the person doesn’t look away… Hahaha awkward.
“Can there be anywhere else in the world that can be such an assault on the senses?”
-The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
And I happen to think she’s right. From the little time that I’ve been here, the colour; smells; sights and people are totally different to anything I have ever experienced. The landscape reminds me a little of Mozambique, but that must just be because of the millions of palm trees and the tropical climate. I’m starting to question my reasoning behind coming here… I know it’s day 1, but I cannot understand the language, waiting at the local airport for Jov and keep getting stared at! However it’s only day 1 and I’m sure once I get the hang of this place, I will start to settle down.
Today Thiruvananthapuram (a mouthful to pronounce so the English name is Trivanandrum)… And who knows where tomorrow!