How have my perceptions changed? Both a lot, and very little. I came in with ideas, but nothing concrete. People are religious. Haven’t verified that one yet, depends on the place and person. India is more diverse than I could have possibly imagined–portrayed as basically one entity since ancient times, but really a patchwork of cultures, traditions, and landscapes under a common political title and administration. It’s massive in a way one can only comprehend when traveling within. Food is much more varied than I imagined–thought I’d be eating Saag Paneer for three months straight. No complaints there. The Himalayas are even more spectacular, massive (insert superlative here) than expected–foothills are 6,000 feet (taller than the Appalacians!)–the plain flatter than I can see. The spatial organization is different–rural areas are centralized, populated towns and fields surrounding due to the lack of transportation, whereas in the US cars are ubiquitous, so houses and farms are on the land being tilled. Delhi was crowded, differently than New York, but even more. A sea of people, of activity, of life, happning. The kind of city developed countries scoff at, cities that defy all logic and desire to those whom don’t wish to see.
Things have been flushed out, but nothing has dramatically shifted. I came into India hoping to see a different culture I knew very little about. So far, that’s basically what’s happened. My intention builds off that desire–to not rest until truly tired. To rest when resting and explore when exploring. To make the most of this fantastic opportunity.