YakBoard #2 –
by Margaret L. Gaw (Marge)
As we stepped out of the Delhi airport late last night, we were met with our first impressions of India—for some, it was the excess amount of dogs in the vicinity, for others the chaos of the buses in the street, or the smog that covered buildings a few kilometers away. Either way, we met India with excitement and an open heart for this unique adventure.
Early this morning, we drifted off to a brief sleep to the barks of the dogs and the vivacity of Bollywood music outside our windows at the Delhi YMCA. These sounds woke us up in the morning and we soon welcomed chai and delicious hot breakfast with glee. We repeated introductions—as well as the poop scale.
We hopped on two buses to drive to Agra where we will soon experience the Taj!! The bus ride was eventful to say the least. Both buses spotted the nilgai and peacocks (to mention a few) on the side of the highway and admired the diverse landscape. Hemant taught us about Indian brick ovens, current politics, and unique botany. He also bestowed on us an extremely special window into his life as a yogi; he attempted to teach us chants from his 4:30am mornings from his schooling. Hemant never failed to pull out a new Indian snack every five minutes, including but not limited to spicy cheetos, tomato potato chips, and peanuts.
We passed the rest of the time in the bus playing games such as “Tennis,” Ninja, and the iconic down-by-the-riverside. Coombs was nuts about the baadams.
When we arrived at Maya Hotel and Restaurant, we ate lunch and headed to FabIndia. Again, a bus ride of adventure. We traveled through densely populated city squares with cows holding up traffic, families of five on one motorcycle, and a collection of modern and molding structures. Glimpses of the Taj Mahal through the city park trees raised our excitement levels as our eyes stayed glued to the windows of the bus.
FabIndia was in my opinion extremely overwhelming as I utterly despise shopping. Maggie reports that she spent a whole three hours shopping without dropping! Uttara and Rebecca were vital resources in helping us pick traditional Indian garb that we will sport to the Taj Mahal tomorrow!
We ended the first day in India with a delicious dinner and a feeling of anticipation for the days to come.