Has it really been slightly under a week so far? Maybe it feels so long because we have to make multiple attempts to achieve almost anything we try to do.
And yet reviewing the Day 1 post, we have made a lot of progress in making our way here. About to leave our third city and feeling more or less relaxed.
The biggest surprise so far is how much cleaner, easier, kinder than so many warnings we received. We’ve seen more palm squirrels than cockroaches, more street sweepers than beggars, more cute puppies than mad dog packs. To everyone who said the South is easier, you were so right. Thank you.
We’re still hearing it is harder in the North, so we will enjoy what we have here. And we are controlling what we can with attitude. No need to send back the latte instead of a lassi – it was just as tasty. We do a lot of patient waiting. It seems to work most of the time.
The slightly disappointing flip side is that while we aren’t overly frustrated most of the time, we also aren’t overly amazed by much. We were secretly hoping that getting back on the road would bring more childlike joy and awe, but it seems we are old, plain and simple.
Of course there have been some surprises and some giggles. Palm thatch houses and crazy-English signs. Xmas decorations in Pondy that all seem to have actual Christian themes – mostly stars and mangers. We can watch locals walking the beaches and promenades endlessly and Maria has enjoyed the bus rides far more that anticipated.
Yet most learnings seem to be about noticing the subtle differences rather than about big shocks. We don’t know how to identify caste differences yet, but we are certainly travelling among the monied Indian classes – western clothes, fat spoilt children, private flash cars with drivers.
And finally, how different technology is making this trip. Google maps and booking.com give us a sense of control we didn’t have before. We don’t stay lost for long unless we want to, and we are getting very conveniently located lodging that meets expectations every time. Wow.