Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Indian Expectations

The months of preparation and anticipation have finally ended and the Adventures in India are beginning!  Here are my expectations for the next three years:

  • I will experience some ill effects from Delhi's horrendous air pollution, but hopefully won't get too sick.  Most Americans immediately think of Chinese cities when they think of air pollution, but Delhi also ranks as one of the ten worst cities in the world for air quality.
  • My stomach of steel will allow me to enjoy lots of wonderful Indian food while my spice tolerance increases and I avoid severe cases of Delhi Belly.  I managed to survive Africa and Southeast Asia without serious food poisoning, so I hope that trend continues.
  • I will visit the Taj Mahal at least 4 times.
  • Adjusting to the massive amounts of people in Delhi will require some time.  Delhi's population is over 16 million, while the DC area has just over 6 million, and Portland, Oregon has well below 1 million.
  • I will buy at least 3 saris.
  • While I had assumed India's weather was always hot, I'm learning that Delhi has an actual winter season.  I predict I won't need to unpack my wool sweaters, but will still make use of my winter clothes.
  • Seasoned world travelers have admitted to me that the level of poverty in India was troubling for them to witness.  While I expect to feel compassion in the face of poverty, I don't expect to feel despondent.
  • There seem to be so many activities in Delhi - at the embassy, organized by expats, or in the city at large - that I don't think I could possibly get bored!
  • While I'm excited to visit Hindu temples, after 3 years, I will have had my fill of them.
  • Indian society still experiences many divisions along social, economic, and gender lines.  I hope I can navigate these divisions smoothly and develop friendships outside the expat community.
Keep checking back on the blog as I explore these expectations and report on the outcomes!

My first Indian meal:
dal, shrimp, fish curry, and seafood pulao