So there we are again, back where we started, in the capital city of this incredible country of India! We arrived yesterday afternoon at five o clock after a train journey of exactly 49 hours. It was not as strenuous as we expected it to be, it was really quite relaxing with lots of time to read, write, reflect and talk. All the time there were people coming through the compartments to offer food, tea and coffee, water, snacks- so there were no worries in this respect. And the wonderful thing about the journey was watching the changing landscape passing by: the change from tropical to desert like regions, farmers working in the fields, shepherds, cattle, many dry riverbeds, terrible slums surrounding the cities, children waving to the passing train, so many unforgettable pictures to remember and reflect upon. Train travel really is the best way to be travelling- f you have the time, of course.
On our arrival in Delhi there was the usual absolute chaos we already experienced on our arrival: Crowds of taxi touts trying to lure you away from the official pre-paid taxis stands to take charge you a massively inflated price. Very annoying indeed and after our taxi trip out to the hotel-which is already very close to the airport- we were so fed up with this nightmare of a city that we decided not to take the trip back into the centre today as we had first planned. Our small hotel lies behind the big traffic highway out to the airport which is full of cheap as well as expensive hotels, shops, food stalls, cyber cafes (crammed huts with about three to four computers), crazily crowded and full of the usual crazy traffic – although our hotel is astonishingly quiet in spite of its location.
Tomorrow morning, the plane leaves at seven a.m. and that will be the end of this amazing trip!
I have thought a long time about what to say as a final summary of this journey, if this is at all possible. I will still have to think more about it and many more thoughts and reflections we/I will put down in our travel-report book which we plan to make soon after we get back.
Beautiful, shocking, eyeopening, diverse, impressive, crazy, infuriating, puzzling… are just some of the adjectives with which I would personally begin to describe India. Certainly, one sees ones own life in a different and new light, realises how extremely priviliged we are, how much we complain about things that are meaningless by comparison to the suffering and hardship that so many people here live with every day. I am extremely grateful for having had the opportunity to see all these wonderful places, the amazingly impressive landscapes, the encounters along the way.
“The real journey of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in seeing with new eyes”
A quote we find quite fitting for our journey through India! But, more about this soon!
Many best wishes for now, Anne and Marco