Welcome to YasoInIndia

I am beginning my journey in Kolkata and traveling along the river Ganges by train. I will document what I see and hear along the way. The trip takes 14 days and this first leg of the journey will end in Rishikesh at the foothills of the Himalayas. I will then go down to South India for two weeks on my own, back to North India (Delhi & Rajastan) for a ten day tour of a number of Social Enterprises. My last stop in India will be the Bollywood capital, Mumbai. I am happy to share my travel stories with you...

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Monday, January 31, 2011

Traveling Alone

The most interesting thing about traveling alone is the meeting of people. I continued to see these two young women at the Trichi hotel at meal times and imagined contemporary India.  I could tell they were not on a vacation.  They eyed me too, and even gave me warm smiles occasionally. I am sure they speculated about who I was and what I was doing here just as I did them.
Funny thing is that to Indians I do look local but I act like a foreigner- at least in this part of the country (south) I can speak the language, but in the north I did not fit in other than in looks (must admit even there I could not compete with the beautiful Indian women).  So finally I decided to say hello to them.  Since then we had breakfast and dinner together, talked and laughed every day until we parted. The Tamil Nadu Government has hired them to train teachers to teach English effectively in schools.  The problem appears to be the reluctance of Tamilians to learn a second language- they are adamantly opposed to learning Hindi- so English is a compromise it seems…

The night before my young friends left they  joked with me as I eyed another lone person dining there- that she was my potential chat buddy the next day.  It turned out at breakfast the next morning another woman asked to join me at my table.  She was attending the non-linear systems and dynamics conference in Trichi. She is a physicist who works in Hydrabad as a researcher.   We had a good conversion about heath care systems here and in the States (she had been an accidental patient there having been diagnosed with breast cancer in California while on a conference trip!!). Shame on me for feeling sorry for myself for being alone when I was down with a cold!  

It is about dinner time now.  And off I go to meet (or not) another new person... 

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