india | the start

It took me more than 24 hours to reach India, but it was a great.  I left San Francisco Thursday morning and arrived in India Monday at 2am.  At the lounge at SFO I squeezed in some last minute editing before boarding my plane.  (Of course I had to eat some breakfast.  Spicy Ramen!  You know I was in a Korean lounge. haha)

I traveled to India by myself and my by three friends who flew out of Houston.  I flew with Asiana Airline with a layover in Korea and ate yummy Korean food on the plane.  The Korean food came with instructions.  Everything about this airline was cute and also chic.

Thankfully on my flight from SFO to Korea I had two empty seats next to me.  Hurray!

After my 12 hour flight, I was super gross so I took a shower at the lounge in Korea. Yay!

The customs area in India was beautiful.

I stayed at the Crowne Plaza in Delhi.  Below is a picture looking from our main room to our bathroom, equipped with a tub.  It was a great room.

This is the view from our window.  In the evening it looks like there's nothing beyond the road.  There weren't any lights on at night beyond the street lamps.

.  .  .  .  .

India. It's the place I always wanted to visit.  I am fascinated with India.  As a child I read through books about Islam and Hinduism.  The story of Amy Carmichael was a favorite when I was little.  Even Rajasthan culture fascinated me.  One of my favorite documentaries is "Born into Brothels".  And the list of my interests relating to India goes on.  But the thing that always stopped me from visiting was fear.  I've traveled to many places around the world and have never been intimidated but India was the one place that I knew I didn't want to visit alone.

So it was fate when I found a LivingSocial deal for India.  It included airfare, four-star hotel, tour and travel between all the different cities we were visiting.  Oh and it included breakfast, my favorite meal!  My friends and I did the buy 3 get 1 free deal and scored a great price on the entire trip.  Once we redeemed the deal I pretty much forgot about my trip until a month before I was to leave.  That's when I picked up my visa.

The visa place in San Francisco smelled and was very crowded.  When I mentioned this to my friend, he told me I was in for a surprise when I reached India.  I do not bode well with crowds at all.  In fact crowds make me very anxious, and I have been known to freakout and/or have asthma attacks.  That's when my fear of traveling picked up some momentum.  The week before I left it seemed everyone decided to tell me horror stories of India. (Thanks, guys.)  So I left California for India in a bit of a panic.

Upon arriving at the airport in New Delhi, I greeted the man with a sign "Mr. Megan Tsang".  He looked at me quizzically, expecting me to be a man, before escorting me to my car.  First I'd like to mention that India was not at all as scary as people make it out to be.  Nor was the traffic as chaotic as people made it out to be.  But maybe that's because I've been to China and shady parts of Bangkok and Haiti.

.  .  .  .  .

My first night in India I observed a few things: - They drive on the left side of the road and the steering wheel is on the right side of the car. This was a surprise as I totally forgot about the British rule. - People walk on the freeway. scary. - The drivers are really good at avoiding things. - There are signs to honk when passing on the backs of all service vehicles. - People were wearing pants and long sleeves, yet not sweating. - Hotel security searched under the hood of my car before letting us through. - The hotel lobby was filled with overweight, middle-aged white people. - The hotel reception also expected me to be a man.

.  .  .  .  .

(FYI I used a combination of film, instagram, instant film and digital pictures for this trip.)