“You will love India and you will hate India,” warned almost every single person as I planned my journey. One friend even went so far as to spell it out for me: India=I‘ll Never Do It Again. Clever.
Up until today, though, I was President of the fan club, #1 cheerleader, absolutely head-over-heels, never-leaving, in love with this country.
Today, however, we did not get along so well.
My morning started off great, listening to David Remnick talk at the Jaipur Literature festival and omg, President of HIS fan club, #1 cheerleader, head-over-heels…but I digress.
Midway through the second panel of the day (an interesting one on the Arab Spring), I spilled a steaming cup of chai all over myself. Myself and my ONLY long sleeve shirt which also happens to be white. It hurt and it’s winter in Jaipur and I have a suitcase filled with shorts and bikinis from Goa and Kerala.
Then, stained and burned, I decided to run into the main town to get some errands done: SIM card, pharmacy and bank.
My current SIM card was bought for me by some guy in Goa who just absolutely abuses the privilege of having my number. It also never really works, except for when he calls. Hmm. So, I went to four different cellphone stores, wasted over five hours of my day, and am still stuck with Goan stalker’s SIM card. I also have pen ink all over my iPhone and eight new passport pictures (apparently you need passport pictures to buy a SIM card?!) where I look atrociously vile.
I then played the same game all over again with my birth control prescription, which I still don’t have either.
And, PS, the traffic in Jaipur is so intense that I had to hire a rickshaw driver for 130 rupees to just get literally across the street because it was not possible to do so by foot and stay alive.
When I came back for the night at my lovely homestay (after six hours of not accomplishing anything), I was dying for a steamy shower. My whole body was cold and tired and cranky. I had seen an electrical heater in the bathroom and was psyched for hot water—I know this is dramatic, but I haven’t taken a hot shower since 2011. And, I still haven’t. The hot water heater was broken.
And can I just say again, it is SO cold here.
Anyways, I’m fine now. And typing this all out makes me feel like a brat, because it was SO not a bad day, relatively. Getting things done in India is never easy, I KNOW this.
Thankfully, I ended the day on the couch with my new home stay “mom” watching YouTube videos of her guru and drinking warm, sweet buffalo milk to help combat the cold. I love buffalo milk and I love India again.