the first day.

18 Apr

yesterday was the first day that i truly ventured out and immersed myself into indian life.  other than walking to and from the car that escorted me to the office in delhi, i had yet to really get out there and get busy.

and busy i got.  a colleague from the microfinance institution, sanjay, was kind enough to offer to take me around the neighborhood and get me familiar with the necessities.  the necessities…and a few other things.

clearly a necessity.

we jumped from the hotel, to an auto-rickshaw (exactly what is sounds – a 3 legged open car-type-thing that makes you both exhilarated and scared for your life), to an ancient-looking yellow taxi, to the city metro. we walked in the middle of traffic that i would normally never dare (sorry dad) and tackled markets that were sweaty, hectic, and incense-infused.

sanjay was kind enough to take me to various parts of the city – the more residential part where our office/hotel is located, the busy commercial areas and then the more westernized locales.  in the latter, you could almost forget that you were in kolkata – i even had insanely over priced gelato and saw my first indian mcdonald’s.

the beer and gelato tasted especially perfect because it was 36+ degrees celsius outside.

the heat i can deal with (apparently it will get up to 50 degrees), but the heat, the sweat and the dirt is a terribly unique combination.  i don’t think i have ever freely let myself get so – for lack of a better descriptor – filthy. and i embraced it, cause after all, keeping pristine is a battle i ain’t going to win here.

dirty and happy at the end of a long day

of course, the day yielded some roadblocks. i got stared at everywhere we went, men made lots of comments (some of which sanjay hilariously translated for me) and i truly suck at learning bengali.  hopefully these things will improve.

however, i’d say that overall the first day was a good day. and now i’m off to a different kind of first day – at my new job.

enjoying the sun in one of kolkatas parks. dont ask me which one.

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11 Responses to “the first day.”

  1. A.A.B. (auntie angie baby) April 18, 2011 at 5:15 pm #

    Think I might start calling you ALJAY…50 degrees eh…yikes, that’s like being in the Moksha (hot yoga) pit all day. We thought about skiing yesterday while in Collingwood (sorry, couldn’t resist the chill humour).

    • Allison April 18, 2011 at 7:00 pm #

      i heard it snowed yesterday! i was thinking about you guys – as i sweated from places i didnt know existed. i never thought i’d miss snow…..

  2. Barnet April 18, 2011 at 5:31 pm #

    Auto-rickshaw hmmm…
    Are you aware of the group that goes by that name?

  3. ica April 18, 2011 at 7:57 pm #

    You look like you had such a great time with your new friend.

    50 degrees! Wow that a hot one! Eekkk!

    Love the picture of you in the garden you look happy and excited! And it looks nice there. Great to know you have a friend to take around.

    Your feet were so dirty! Yuck! Living the life lol

    Super jealous of your rickshaw ride. I’m sure you were scared but it sounded fun.

    You look excited ! Good luck on your second first day lol

    skype sooon !

  4. ica April 18, 2011 at 9:01 pm #

    Dude get yourself some shorts and STOP wearing the scarf! You must have been boiling !!

    My response after re reading the blog! And thinking ” what the hell is she wearing pants for”!!

    Not sure if wearing shorts is not allowed my god you look like you would most defiantly be sweating in ALL the wrong places FOR SURE!

    • Allison April 19, 2011 at 8:31 pm #

      its a bit conservative here in the dress, so i cant really wear anything short or sleeveless. the scarf is to hide my tatas so the men dont stare. trus tme, its all a well oiled operation and very helpful.

      i need to get some indian-made clothes that are more breathable – but until that happens – i sweat. i sweat like a bitch.

  5. Joe April 19, 2011 at 2:48 am #

    Hey Sis!

    I have been reading your blog, sound interesting! I am sure you’ll acclimatize to the heat.

    Cheers,

  6. Stef April 19, 2011 at 5:44 am #

    the feet shot is my fav. are pedicures cheap over there? nothing better than walking around a city all day and beng so dirty and then people rubbing your feet for money. i highly recommend it. :) miss you!

    • Allison April 19, 2011 at 8:25 pm #

      i miss you too. i miss that baby belly of yours. i need to send you an update email. right now im trying to get focused on the “food/housing” thing and then i can focus on toes looking pretty. i wonder what the pedi-mani scene is here – everyone does have nicely manicured feeties…

  7. Hannah April 19, 2011 at 6:52 pm #

    Keep the scarf but keep it on your head – trust me, it will help if the brutal sun kicks in. Also, go for looser clothing – more skirts less fabric on your bod – something that will help you get a breeze and fabric that is breathable.

    India is known for its cheap ready made clothes – I bet you could get some good outfits commissioned that work for the weather (and since its commissioned – they’ll make it for your hollywood canadian frame). LOVE

    • Allison April 19, 2011 at 8:24 pm #

      i agree. clothing is quickly becoming an issue – i dont have enough loose things that are conservative enough. i need long loose skirts/pants. its on the top of my to do list – cause youre totally right.

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