OK, so let me tell you about my very first week in India.
Day 0. Packing
Faced a dilemma while packing my luggage: either leaving 5kg of Lithuanian stuff at home (bread, sausages, alcohol, chocolate, traditional souvenirs…) OR paying $60 to check in a second suitcase and bring more clothes as well. I paid. 🙂
Day 1. Arriving to New Delhi
After a connection flight in Helsinki, I arrived to New Delhi at 6:30am on Sunday morning and I felt very relieved with seeing both my suitcases on the belt! At first I was struggling with drawing out cash and finding my driver but then I finally took a ride to my new home-to-be while listening to some Indian tunes. I managed to sleep for only two hours on the plane, so I took a long nap and had a small tour around East of Kailash in the evening. My first culture shock – lots of dogs running around, sidewalks not really existing, cars passing like crazy and honking all the time… oh, and a peculiar smell, too. 🙂
Finished the day with a really delicious chicken tikka for 250 rupees (~$5) – it was definitely worth the money!
Day 2 – Barbecue at CEO’s place
An AIESEC’er guided me to the office where I met the awesome Vintage Rides crew. These guys are organising superb motorbike tours around India on classy Royal Enfield Bullets, so let me know if you’re looking for an amazing adventure! (Oh, if I hadn’t told you yet, I’ll be responsible for marketing and selling such motorcycle tours to the English market. 😉 )
After work, we all went to the CEO’s place to celebrate the birthday’s of two of my new colleagues and had a wonderful barbecue. I also brought a bottle of Green Nines (a magical Lithuanian drink) with me and taught everyone how to say ‘į sveikatą’!
Day 3. Losing my Passport
In the morning, I managed to take a bus to the office (almost) without getting lost and I had a pretty nice day… except for the fact that I lost my passport. Yeah, exactly… It probably happened sometime between scanning it at the office and getting back home. But I have NO idea how I could have lost because I kept the passport in a separe wallet. I found the wallet with the photocopies inside of my bag but there was no passport… And it’ll take 4 to 6 weeks to get myself a new one, which sucks big time. 🙁
Day 4. Food Poisoning
I went to eat some street food with two other interns, Benjamin and Sonya. Ben was eating there very often and had no problems with the food, so we all ordered anda bhurji (spicy scrambled eggs). A few hours later I started feeling strange until becoming quite seriously ill in the evening: a headache, high temperature, muscle pain, stomach ache… Sooner than expected but here it was – my first food poisoning! 😀 The night wasn’t the most pleasant one either.
Day 5. Riots and a Motorbike Trip
Was feeling a bit better in the morning but still couldn’t eat anything – even chai (black tea with milk and sugar) was too much for my stomach.
I knew some protests had happened on the previous day and apparently a mob was gathering in Okhla Phase 1 (that’s were Vintage Rides office is). I’m not sure if they were protesting against the government or just looked for a reason to smash everything, but around 11am things got serious: people were throwing rocks at the office windows around the area; we had to lock the gates and even stay in the garage for some time. A few policemen came to escort us (although they couldn’t have done much with their wooden sticks, I guess…) and we drove off from the area.
To make the most out of a beautiful day, five of us decided to have a small trip to just outside of New Delhi. I have to admit, riding on the back seat of a Royal Enfield wasn’t the most pleasant experience for me haha, BUT the landscapes were really impressive! We drove through rocky hills, passed a few villages, then stopped by a small lake, climbed up the rocks and chilled out for a few hours while sipping beer and enjoying the view. My but hurt the next day from the bumpy off-roads but it’s a great incentive to become a driver myself!
Later in the evening we gathered at Ben’s place as he was celebrating his birthday. We all enjoyed a few more drinks and I had a chance to get to know new people from France, Italy and Canada… Overall – fun times!
Day 6. Chill-out
It was a normal day at the office and I was brave enough to eat some street food at the same place again – luckily, without any stomach problems this time (maybe coca cola killed all the bacteria?). Needed some rest after the first work week, so I stayed at home and just chilled out. 🙂
Day 7. Clubbing
A few housemates, some AIESEC’ers from Delhi IIT (although my traineeship is managed by Delhi University) and I went clubbing to KittySu – a place that just received an award for the best club in Delhi in one of the categories. 🙂 Although the nightclub isn’t very big (at least compared to Oceana in Nottingham haha), it’s very luxurious. The DJs also played well and overall it was a great first clubbing experience in India!
So… Meeting new people, losing my passport, food poisoning, riots, motorbike trips, clubbing… – as you can see, the first week was anything but boring! I’m having a great time here in India, adapting to the culture and learning new things every day. But that also really makes me wondering:
What will the next 51 weeks bring?..