Based on my trip to India.
The man wakes before the sun. Those few seconds between being asleep and being awake causes confusion.
“Where am I?”
The dream waves goodbye in the shadows of his mind.
The first morning in a newcountry is always the most organized. The morning schedule is performed with precision. Three bags, a laptop, charger, wallet, phone and passport. Never forget your passport. Never part from your passport.
In fact, the first day especially is the day with the most number of pocket checks. You close the door of your hotel room and grab your pocket. Phone, wallet and passport. You take two steps down the staircase at the front of the hotel. Phone, wallet and passport. You jump out of the taxi. Phone, wallet and passport.
Checking to see if his pocket is still full, the man jumps into his car. Well, not his car. A hired drivers car. Because, let’s face it, no westerner can drive in india. The traffic in India is like the traffic in Thailand or Vietnam, except with cars and not bikes. They change lanes with no blinkers, beep their horns instead of giving way and it isn’t clear if there is a right or wrong side of the road. It really is survival of the fittest.
This man is clearly unfit. His name is RJ. He was taken to India in the eleventh hour to film some charity videos. One weeks notice for a job in the poorest part of a developing country with no time for immunizations to kick-in. In the true Australian attitude, RJ simply said, “No worries.”
From Delhi he travels north for 5 hours, although, distance isn’t measures in time. In India, It is measured in kilometers. With traffic so chaotic, estimated times are useless. Distance is king. The west ignores distance and measures everything in time. A deadline is a deadline and distance is your own damn problem.
RJ arrives at the foot of the Himalayas. Checks into his hotel. Meets a contact and goes straight into the slums. From Sydney to the slums in less than 24 hours. What he saw there will never be forgotten, but that story will have to wait until the next post.
– By Randall Evans.