Do you remember those Scrubs episodes when the writers clearly don’t have any good material with JD as the main character? To solve this problem they simply have JD “tap” one of the supporting characters like Turk, Carla or Elliot and the whole episode is shown from their perspective using their inner monologues. Think of this as a “very special” episode of Ashley’s blog as she taps out to her version of “Elliot” (sort of)…
While she may have never mentioned it before, my name is Yev and I’m her boyfriend. A little context here may be useful. We’ve been dating since freshman year (5 years) and I’ve been her travel companion, bag attendant and general sherpa-of-all-trades as we’ve traveled to England, Scotland, the Czech Republic, Fiji, Australia, France, Greece, Egypt, Turkey, Ukraine and, most recently, Italy. Now that she’s been in
All right let’s get right to it, we’ve got more than a week of tromping to catch up on.
I first saw Ashley on Friday as I landed in
Observation 1: Indian air travel is not for the faint of heart.
First your flight will inevitably be late. This in itself is OK because US flights are late all the time. However the problem arises in that unlike US airports, once you cross past security into the waiting area there is very little to do and sometimes its impossible to go back into the general ticketing area which may have a bit more in terms of entertainment, shopping, dining options, etc. I actually witnessed an irate, native Indian, business class traveler verbally berate an airline employee because he could do nothing to let him go back outside of security when it was announced that our flight was two hours late. All the while they were standing next to the head of the security checkpoint as he barely flinched, pretended to ignore the traveler and ultimately said, “no exiting the security area”. Ironically enough I was able to grant exit by telling them that I needed to go outside in order to change my
The next day we had the full Cochin experience; walk by the water in the main city, watching the sunset in Fort Cochin as an army of kittens paraded around looking for the fresh catch, a canoe ride through the backwaters (used as a laundry, bath, and pool at the same time), oh and one other thing…having the driver side mirror ripped clearly off of our tour van by an oncoming bus and having it fly through the aforementioned van as we continue to weave in and out of traffic. This brings us to:
Observation 2: Driving in
Here is the thing, while there are marked lanes on the roads, streetlights sprinkled around major intersections, and a smattering of traffic cops, driving in
The next day Ashley took me to see the 500-year-old
Observation 3: Indian monuments are amazing, and it’s a damn good thing that we get to see them now, because they simply won’t last.
Indian monuments, churches, mosques, temples, castles, etc., are amazing, rivaling their European counterparts- the only problem is they were more amazing 20 years ago, and more amazing 50 years ago, and so on. While their European brothers go out of their way to restore historic structures, in
We then flew back to
Observation 4: Indian cities, even the large developed ones, smell.
It really makes you appreciate the amazing innovation that is the landfill. Aggregating trash into one central, and hopefully distant, location is a wonderful phenomenon. Indeed driving through an Indian town you see trash everywhere. Even the large historic monuments are littered. Because of this certain parts of the city smell very badly (think