If you read my title, you will know that my most significant trip was my trip to India at 13 years old, so many events happened on this trip that I couldn’t use one single word to describe it. It was a proverbial smoothie of smells, sights, and sounds and I was the blender.
I have to admit, at first I was pretty reluctant about going. I have been raised in a tiny small town and I had really never been overseas for anything except a cruise. And being a teenager with a phone addiction causes problems when you’re cut off for 3 weeks. But that’s enough of that. I’m not here to give you a sob story so lets cut to the chase. One moment I’m saying bye to all my buddies at Ice Skating and the next moment I’m at Pittsburgh International boarding a chain of flights that will take me to New Delhi.
The plane ride was a story in itself. My Sister, Mother, and I met up with my Grandmother in Detroit to catch our flight to Amsterdam, which would take us to Delhi. The flight was pretty uneventful and we arrived in Amsterdam, Holland unscathed. We had 3 hours to spend in Amsterdam so we just hung around the gift shop. One can only imagine the popularity received from being the only kid at school to have gone to Amsterdam. Of course I didn’t mention I never left the airport!
After all that rigmarole, we boarded the final flight, a 13-hour marathon to New Delhi. The flight was going great and I was in a jetlagged daze when the kid next to us started vomiting. In a cramped plane that already smelled like 200 sweaty Indians this was not an ideal situation. But after that the flight went by and we arrived in Delhi.
The first thing I noticed in Delhi was the smell. I still can’t describe it but I’m sure it was some sort of spice. We spent the next couple days touring Delhi led by our driver. Our adventures included staying in a bed and breakfast with no warm water owned by some Indian version of George Harrison. And seeing India’s capital. Another observation I made is that while no Indian has won the Tour de France, Most of them are experts at getting from place to place by bike! We met up with my Aunt who showed us Delhi and when we were done sightseeing there we moved on to Agra.
In Agra we stayed in a really nice hotel. It must have been like 20 stars or something. We even had a view of the Taj Mahal! The Taj Mahal is one of the most breathtaking sights that one could every see. In Jaipur, though we stayed with the Indian equivalent of Jeremiah Wright. He had an obvious hate of white people, which made me angry because I am biracial.
We finally went to South India, which was mostly seeing family and old friends. A lot of it was just cheek pinching and hearing “how grown up” I’ve become. After 2 weeks of people switching to Malayalam when they wanted to talk about me I was wishing I knew the language. I met up with my cousin Shalini in Bangalore and for a blind kid she was pretty good at ding-dong ditching the neighbors!
After all was said and done, I came away from the trip with so many new experiences and knowledge about my culture that I was no longer afraid to try new things and see new places.
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