India

After a rather lengthy flight we alas landed in New Delhi early this evening. Humidity? Check. (So humid, in fact, that our camera steamed up for a bit there and made it rather difficult to take pictures.)  Heat. Check. Funky Scents? Check. A million people waiting to offer you a ride in their cab? Check. We searched the line of people until finally “Mr. Brain Perry”. Driver found? Check.

Our driver/guide—who we thought was named Shwinda, then Shrenda, only to discover our last day that it was Surrender (oh, and his son’s name is Defense)—drove us so kindly to our hotel. Surrender was fantastic! We understood only about 50% of what he said, but we loved every second of it.

As we drove, Bryan and I sat with our eyes glued out the window as we winded down the narrow roads. Women everywhere were dressed in the most vibrant of colors—reds, gold, turquoise. They were all so beautiful. Masses of men wore slacks and a button up shirt. Some, however, wore long white robes and lose fitted matching pants. The sides of the streets were lined with people, shops, cows—lots and lots of cows—goats, and so much more. The roads were a nightmare. An absolute nightmare. Whether there are laws or not I still don’t know. It was a constant game of chicken as no one drives in the lanes, let alone the right side of the road (well technically the left for them).

Bryan jokingly asked Surrender if he could drive. Surrender laughed and we thought it was forgotten. Then suddenly he pulled over, hopped out, and offered the driver’s seat to Bryan. Then Bryan actually drove! I was convinced we were going to die! At one point a car came around the corner and Bryan cranked the wheel to the right—only that’s backward in India. Surrender panicked and shouted directions; I panicked and closed my eyes. Somehow we survived. I declined the offer to drive. As much as I like adventure I know I would end up crashing and killing myself, our driver, Bryan, and probably a hundred pedestrians. Not a bright idea.

We reached the hotel; it was dark by now. The hospitality is pristine in India. Everyone is so respectful and kind. It is amazing! I think if any Indian came to the United States they would be appalled, and rightfully so! We checked in, took our bags to our room, then inquired where a good place to eat would be. We then walked down the side of a road following the directions of the concierge. Soon we found a gateway-like mall, only not quite that clean. We had quite the fright when out of nowhere two massive cows came walking down the middle of the mall. No one batted an eye. It was hysterical. Apparently in India, no one owns the cows. There is even a caste system for cows. I love cultural differences.

We found a lovely restaurant and decided to try it. The host then took us up a number of flights of stairs to a beautiful candlelit room (a lot nicer looking than we had anticipated) with live music even! The food was divine—rice, chicken, all good. I think the highlight of the evening, however, was when we requested Michael Bolton’s “When a Man Loves a Woman” and the Indian man without any hesitation belted it out! Haha.

There’s a history there. You see—long before I liked Bryan we were at a dance party and that song came on. Bryan so sweetly asked me to dance, and I consented. It was a mockery of a dance if anything—tango, spins—but it was most memorable. I mean, that was our first dance! We jokingly play that song for the sake of making cheesy memories and once again Michael Bolton came through for us. I’m still refusing to have that be Bryan and my first dance at our wedding though! Ha.

By the time dinner was done it was quite late, thus we went to bed so that we would be well rested for touring in the morning.

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