‘Incredible’ is one word; ‘overwhelming’ is the other. These are the two words people tend to use when you tell them you’re going to India for the very first time. Oh yes, and ‘amazing’ pops up quite often too.
And as I sit here at the end of my first day in this, incredible, overwhelming an amazing country, I have to say that I can’t argue with that description.
However, that ‘overwhelming’ word—it’s the one that worried me the most before I landed in Delhi early this morning—hasn’t managed to steal the thunder from my first day in this brilliant and baffling country.
Because I had the dynamic duo of Luv (Hi Tours) and Raj (Food Tour in Delhi) to make my crash course in Indian culture an absolute breeze. Not only did they keep me safe, feed me extraordinarily well and give me a consistent case of the giggles, they also—quite wonderfully—dropped me unceremoniously in the deep end!
There was no gentle nudge into the dizzying multicolor symphony of noise, movement, scent and emotion that floods your senses in Delhi. The guys simply pulled up in the heart of Old Delhi and led me through its wonderfully ramshackle streets to some of the best food I’ve tasted in my whole life. It was the best crash course in how to deal with culture shock that I could ever have hoped to experience.
Unfathomable flavors were found; horns honked; schoolkids fooled around; eyes smiled; bicycle rickshaws proved harsh on the derriere; commerce was cultivated on every corner; dogs slept in the shade; spices floated through the air; tuk-tuk drivers wove their way within what appeared to be mere inches of their demise; and life—LIFE!—in all of its bitter-sweet magnificence, rolled on and on.
So as I write this tonight, my senses are on fire. I am overwhelmed, but it in the best way possible. I’m like a moth around a flame—and I want to be overwhelmed again and again! So join me for tomorrow’s blog, when I’ll be sharing with you all the inside info on the mind-blowing street food I found on my food tour in Old Delhi.
Vickie Sam Paget is a freelance writer and editor based in Vancouver, BC. When she’s not creating dynamic travel or tech content, globetrotting or gazing at the North Shore Mountains, you can usually find her curled up with a good book or sipping a pint of the good stuff in her local Irish bar.