Chennai city street.

Welcome to India

My first day in India
was filled with new experiences, food,
and people

India is amazing, even on a brief two hours of sleep. This morning, following a quick bucket bath, I had a hearty breakfast of oranges and heard boiled eggs. I also discovered my first Indian toilet which is basically a hole in the ground.

We all sat in an open air classroom and listened to lectures from two Indian professors. I have a new perspective on British rule in India. Initially, the British came for trade purposes, not conquest.

Lunch was delicious. There were tortillas, rice, and many vegetable toppings. More of less, everything is fried to prevent any food related illnesses. I will have to get used to this. The men who prepared it were barefoot and nothing but smiles.

Dr. Joseph, our primary guide, located my missing luggage from the airport so I should be in clean clothes by tomorrow night! This is great being as my bag was the only one that got lost somewhere along the way. I am currently wearing my roommate's clothes. I guess this is one way to get to know someone.

I ventured into town this afternoon to exchange my U.S. dollars into Rupees. In town, everything was so incredibly colorful. I even saw the inside of a truck that was wallpapered! There are so many cows and barefoot people strolling the streets. The drivers are all swerving in and out of traffic and laying on the horn every chance they get, but they do not appear upset. It is just a way of life around here is seems.

The bank was up a small hidden staircase and behind bars. Inside, the decorations were so random, like they just hung up whatever they could get their hands on regardless of the holiday season. When we left, the banker gave us a roll of 2008 calendars.

From the banker to the professors, and from the people cooking our food to Dr. Joseph, the people are so gracious and giving. I have never met people like this before in my life! They constantly go out of their way for strangers. I wonder how different the world would look if more people adopted this mentality.

Barbara Koehl

University of St. Thomas

St. Paul, MN 55105

Links checked Dec. 12, 2009

Copyright © 2009 Barbara Koehl