Namastee all the way from India,
The 4th of September. Our trip to India starts today. We drove to the airport, said one last goodbye to our parents, my sister and boyfriend and got the airplane. Full of excitement. THE ADVENTURE HAS BEGUN.
After hours of watching movies, playing ‘who is a millionaire’ and listening to music in the plane, we were finally about to descend. As we got closer to the ground, we saw many palm trees, a ton of colorful bright pink, blue or yellow houses, a ton of self-build simple clay houses and the crowded streets which were filled with people and holy cows. As we walked out of the airport, the heat his us in the face. However, WE FINALLY SET FOOT ON INDIA.
We got some money out of the ATM, (some of those 1000 bills makes you feel verrrry rich, only if it weren’t roepies but euros lol) and waited outside for Father Maria to pick us up. We called him and told us ‘he’d be there in 5’, and as we waited, we took it allll in. We saw beautiful women with gold jewellery, colorful Sari’s and pretty flowers in their hair. And India’s scent. There were so many smells. Herbs, flowers, sweat. We heard the screaming and the honks. ‘MISS TAXI TAXI, TOOT TOOT, TAXI, TAXI’. As time got by, we were waiting for about 45 minutes. ‘Oh well, I’m sure this is just the Indian way, just go with it, people here aren’t as punctual as us’. There was enough to see, smell and hear, so we couldn’t be too bothered.
After some more calls, we finally met Father Maria! We got hugs, kisses, a flower bouquet and an Indian cloth/scarf kinda thing. He told us he’d been waiting for us for 45 minutes at the ‘International terminal’, while we were waiting for 45 minutes in the ‘Domestic terminal’, we were only a couple of 100 metres away from each other! Oh well, our first miscommunication situation, something that is probably going to happen a lot more with people from a culture so different than ours.
We sat in the car, talked for hours and tried to get some extra sleep. The traffic was overwhelming, we switched lanes every 3 seconds, honked every 5 seconds and passed any vehicle, animal or human being that was in the middle of the road every 10 seconds. People try to carry everything on their vehicle, 4 people on one motor bike? Oh that’s fine. A guy carrying enough-wood- for-a-year-stack on his small bike? Oh, that works.
3 hours later, we arrived in the Pondicherry boys home. Father showed us our rooms, which are great. And a even a greater view, we have a view of a bright pink house, a stunning church and a dry rack with a LOT of underwear. Underwear of all 90 boys to be precise ;). I personalized my room with a ton of photos and little gifts & other knickknacks and felt home right away. Later that day, we met the boys. They were just as excited as we were and yelled all their 90 names. Soooo many Indian names. Sooo hard to remember all. The rest of the day they kept asking us ‘miss, miss, sister, sister, what’s my name? Did you remember?’. ‘Oooops, well, I’m trying lol.’
The ‘welcome ceremony’ started and we had no idea what to expect. The boys sang songs in Taman, we got another Indian cloth and they gave us a special ‘Tilaka’ on our foreheads. And then they expected a Dutch song… Oh well there we go: ‘Sinterklaas Kapoentje, gooi wat in m’n schoentje, gooi wat in m’n laarsje, danku Sinterklaasje’.
We ended the night on another amazing note. Karlijn, Father Maria and I got on a yellow riksja (Tuktuk as we Dutchies call it) and explored Pondicherry for the first time. We were surrounded by many lights, people and the ocean. The atmosphere was mysterious. We walked on the shore, felt the warm breeze under our flowy Indian trousers and talked about our first day here. It felt like a dream. As we went back, I fell asleep while we were racing in the Tuktuk. Yup, the jetlag hit me. As soon as we were home, I went to bed and fell asleep being very satisfied about our first day.
Our first day was a good one. A very good one.
You hear from me soon.