Thursday, April 14, 2011

Saket and the Tree of Life

I've been up since about 2am and can't sleep, so I thought I would fill you in on my first day in Delhi.  With little to no sleep my first night here, I headed to breakfast around 9:30am.  What a nice spread of fresh fruit, toast with jam, juice, an omelet and tea....delicious!!  I feel like all I've been doing since I left is eating, but it was a nice start to my day.

I finally met the owner of the B&B, Ashwani, who I've been communicating with through email the last couple months...what a lovely man.  He and his wife own the B&B and also own a rental car agency.  I started my morning by reading the the weather report said it was going to be a "cheery 35 degree hazy day"!!

Lots in the news about the education system here at the moment.  The universities have moved to a semestered system in their science programs and it's not going well, application/admission processes for colleges and universities has drastically changed this year and large numbers of students are going to coaching institutions to prepare for their examinations.  One person said students come out of those programs like "robots"...not much different than what we did in North Carolina to prepare students for their end of year standardized tests.

Ashwani gave me some ideas of places to see close by, but I decided first to have a nap from 11am-3pm.  Before I headed out, I took the opportunity to check out my B&B, especially the nice livingroom with the balcony overlooking the street.  There is construction taking place all around, the street is not paved and very dusty, there is some green foliage and flowers, but very dry.  All in all it's a very quiet community.

So at about 4pm, I ventured out to see what was close by.  I still don't have my bearings and I'm a bit hesitant to venture too far on my own, so I decided to stay within a 10-15 minute walk of my B&B.  I went to see the PVR Complex about 5 minutes away where I was told there were some shops, but mostly food establishments where I could eat.  Not exactly what I open concept area that was run down, with lots of people around and lots of traffic, including tuk tuk's....gotta love those tuk tuk's!!!  I completely forgot they drive on the left hand side here, so I have to be careful to look the right way before crossing the road.  People drive so close to you that you could easily get hit by their side mirrors if you don't watch out....but you would definitely be warned they were coming because they LOVE to use their horns!!!

So after checking out the complex...not that appealing...I decided to use the map Ashwani gave me and look around the community I'm staying in.  It's not that large...about 4 blocks of houses running parallel to each other.  As I was walking someone pulled over and actually asked me for ironic is that...needless to say I wasn't much help!!!  I finally ended at a local park not far from my B&B.  It wasn't finely manicured, but it was a nice place to get away from things, sit and enjoy the sounds of birds and watch the people.  I could watch the women in their beautiful saris walk around all day.  They are so colourful and all very different from one another.  The locals also like to watch me...and I mean watch.  They have no problem staring at you for long periods of time...makes you feel a bit uncomfortable...I suspect it will take a bit of getting used to. 

By about 6pm, I headed back to my B&B for the evening.  It gets dark here around 7pm, so I wanted to be back before then.  I was very tired, so decided to turn in early, only to find out I couldn't sleep!!  God I can't wait until I get used to the time change, because I'd love for a full nights sleep.  So far I have been the only one at the B&B, but several people from Canada arrived late last night.

Well I should be breakfast is ready and I'm heading to Agra in a little while.

Until then...

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