First a photo:
Day 2 is our formal kick off. Formal because we sat in a circle and introduced ourselves. We all introduced ourselves in turn. I’m used to the standard “Hi I’m Chris and I work in ITS, Server SPL, Microsoft and VMware delivery”. This time we all spoke about our background and how we ended up on this adventure. I was amazed to discover that everyone in the group had a fascinating story to tell. I’ve rarely met a group of people who are so open and honest amongst a group of virtual strangers. This could have easily been a stage for the more senior members of the group to talk about themselves at length, we are no stranger to self promotion. However everyone seemed keen to listen to everyone else and nobody used this as an opportunity to show off.
Before the formal kick off I had my first Indian breakfast. I love Indian food but I was a little concerned about eating Indian for breakfast, lunch and dinner. My Indian breakfast consisted of two quite light and mild curry like dishes with a mint and coconut puree like substance. This is eaten with several interesting breads. Not the best description I know, I’ll have to take a photo.
After introductions we received our first rickshaw rides. 17 rupees (23p) takes you 2 kilometers. First you have to persuade a rickshaw driver to actually use the meter. As soon as the rickshaw driver sees you’re not a local the meter is suddenly broken and the price skyrockets.
We had another great lunch, not quite as great as yesterday but still pretty good. We then went over to a market. We started off in the middle class area. We saw packed streets full of colour, market stalls spilling onto the street and beggers trying to extract a few rupees from us. We then wandered into the ‘upper middle class’ street. Immediately everything was different, the market stalls became more formal shops with neon signs. We spent around 2 hours in a clothes shop while everyone bought all manner of Indian clothes. The prices were a little rich for me but I picked up something fantastic for Alex.
Day two has gone surprisingly fast. Were already sitting on the terrace, sharing snacks and enjoying the Kingfishers!
I’m coping well with India so far, the food hasn’t ‘affected’ me, I haven’t slept much but once I manage to get to sleep I’m sleeping really well.