Thursday, June 16

(almost) great success!

HELLO EVERYONE! I have made it to India! And what an adventure it's been already. I got to Delhi around 5:30 p.m. and was surprised to find the airport absolutely spotless, modern and not the least bit hectic. After picking up my bag, rechecking it, confusingly finding my way through security and to the gate, I got on my second flight to Chennai, where for the first time I was able to nap a little. At this point in my journey, everything had been very low stress, low key and my nerves were calm, not bad for over 20 hours of travel. Unfortunately, when I reached Chennai to head for the hotel, things changed. The car from the hotel neglected to pick me up (almost midnight, India time, at this point), so I waited around to see if they'd show, sweating profusely in the meantime, but no luck! I opted for a cab, run by the government, and one that you pay ahead of time (seemingly safe, right?!) and found myself in a bug-esque, black and yellow (black and yellow) car with a Tamil-speaking native. I showed him my hotel's information and he muttered something I didn't understand and we were off! Although past midnight at this point, the roads were still terrifying, weaving in and out of traffic, cutting off large trucks and driving on the wrong side of the road (which would technically be the side of the road we're used to) towards oncoming traffic. All of this was tolerable, but then the driver realized he had no idea where he was going. This led to an hour of driving around, through the slums and pulling over almost 10 times to ask for directions. At this point, I was hungry and tired and getting a little bit scared, though I tried to tell myself everything was fine, which of course it was. But between the language barrier (with him trying to talk to me in Tamil and me not understanding a word) and my realization that I WAS IN INDIA!!!!!!! (alone...), led to a few tears, a few more stops for directions and FINALLY, to our final destination: the hotel, where I IMMEDIATELY showered and checked out the room service/internet situation.

Although I didn't see much of India tonight, I have a lot of thoughts and first impressions running through my mind. I can't wait to explore a little more tomorrow and hopefully be able to paint a better picture of Chennai and my experience in general. I'm REALLY looking forward to Saturday, where I will finally get to meet all of my little nuggets and the nuns I'll be living with for the next six months. So much to look forward to! More thoughts and hopefully photos later; thanks for all of the emails and messages, keep 'em coming!

No comments: