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Delhi
January 8, 2014
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Delhi

imageThere is something familiar about the scent of the air when you are in a foreign country. While all the scents vary from country to country, what is familiar is that they smell nothing like home and they constantly remind you that you are “not in Kansas anymore”. France smells of fresh bread mixed with stale cigarette smoke, exotic spices and fresh mint tea envelope the air in Morocco while pho noodle soup and moped exhaust thickens the air in Vietnam. India’s scent is that of open camp fires and the most beautiful incense faintly blowing in the wind at all hours of the day. Since its winter time here and only 60 degrees we haven’t smelled the sweat, garbage and filth that we were forewarned about. What we have seen though is poverty that would make you believe that you were walking through a movie set. Out the window from our hotel in Delhi we have been watching 2 men and a boy imagewho have made a makeshift hut to live in. Yesterday morning they were washing themselves while squatting barefoot over a sewage drain and a little while later we found them cooking breakfast over an open campfire directly on the sidewalk. When our car gets stopped at red lights we are bombarded by beggars and children street performers that come right up and lean their foreheads on our windows while pounding and motioning for money with the saddest expression they can put on their face. We were told not to give because the begging business is very lucrative in India and it’s said that when these beggars go home at night they are buying a pizza and a beer. But there are some instances where you know that there is no faking needed. I saw a 6 year old boy on the sidewalk of a busy street cooking what looked like a pot of dahl for his two sisters that were no more than 2 and 3. They were filthy and barefoot, the girls just wearing an oversized t-shirt waiting patiently as their big brother cooked them some food, without a parent in sight and completely unaware that I was watching them. That is the poverty that I was warned about, it was so real; and then the light turned green and we drove away. As I got into my warm bed with a full tummy that night, I couldn’t help but think of those 3 kids and wonder if they were still out there in the pitch dark without their parents.image

On a brighter note the food is amazing! We’ve tried chicken tikka rolls, dosas, naan, spicy soups and a variety of other dishes that I can’t pronounce the name to. If I don’t get sick soon I will walk out of this country 5lbs heavier than when I arrived! The people here are so friendly and want to know everything about us. Amy and I get asked multiple times a day if we are married. We were told that this is a common question and no harm is meant by it as they are just curious to find out anything they can about foreigners.

It’s currently 4AM in the morning and jet leg has got the best of me. Today we are taking a train to Amritsar in the north on the border of Pakistan to see the famous Golden Temple, the holiest place for the Sikh religion. I heard this is one of the many highlights of the trip……..will keep you posted!image

The famous Raj Ghat park where Mahatma Gandhi was cremated

Delicious food!

Delhi

Humayun’s tomb, a gift from from the emperor’s wife after he passed away in the 16th century. Talk about a nice gift!! It later served as an inspiration to create the Taj Mahal

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in the back of a rickshaw, delhi

in the back of a rickshaw, delhi

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