Arrival: Delhi.

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This morning I was, surprisingly anxious. Perhaps the result of too much research I had exaggerated in my mind the trial it would take to get from plane-side to my hotel in Delhi. I had anticipated the worst. After landing and clearing customs within 20 minutes I found my bag immediately, got to an ATM and made it to my hotel (with a completely amicable driver), all under an hour and a half. Good thing too, since I walked in at 5:55pm, the meeting for our group at 6.
Though my initial impressions a clearly exceptionally inadequate I have to say, I thought it all would be a lot different. Specifically, far more hectic. Yes, there’s traffic and a lot of people and of course, it’s dirty, but my first evening out and around proved no more shocking than anywhere else I’ve been thus far.
The group I’m traveling with all seem nice enough, I am the only American (surprise!), and there’s only one other girl traveling solo. Almost everyone is Australian. I’m still reserved about this tour business. I’m afraid of feeling like cattle, and by far one of the best part of Nepal was the freedom to do as I pleased, whenever and with whomever I pleased. I’m reluctant to give up that freedom. A good part of the group in older, but mostly girls in their twenties. I’m sure it will be fine, and I’ll have a fantastic time. And after this, if I find the tour thing isn’t for me, then at least I’ll know!
Today was our city tour of old Delhi! I was really excited to explore the city, it feels strange, India has always been quite exotic in my mind, but thus far it feels extremely familiar. I have to keep reminding myself where I am! I imagine that will change soon enough. The streets are narrow, cramped and crowded with amorphous ambiguous shops, there are many smells, both good; sweet or floral, and terrible as well. There are differences, yes, and I’m sure my tour keeps me sheltered a bit from chaos (which, is probably a good thing), but throughout the day visiting a fort and temple while navigating the metro, I never once felt unsafe or rushed, or at all uncomfortable. In fact, the metro is ridiculously easy to use and considerably cleaner than the NYC subway. So naturally, I’m curious, is the absurdity of Delhi a bit over exaggerated or is my tour keeping me away from it all?
Tomorrow, we head to Agra! Aka the Taj!
Pictures from today

20120409-153353.jpg Old Delhi

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20120409-153431.jpg Sikh Temple

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