I am down to my final days in Barcelona (BCN, or Barna as the locals sometimes refer to it)!! Where oh where did the time go? Looking back on my time in BCN, a lot happened in four months, but there is still so much left to do. I will definitely return to BCN and Europe one day soon, both to travel and hopefully work here. Four months is not an adequate amount of time to fully immerse oneself in Europe. There is too much history to learn and culture to explore– food to try; architecture, art, and photography to admire; and languages to speak. In four months I have certainly dabbled in the cultures of several countries, and I feel very comfortable in BCN. But I want more time. I suppose everyone does. (Side note: In my Spanish Art and Culture class I learned that Americans loved Dali’s melting clocks paintings [see picture] because according to Dali, Americans are obsessed with time. They want to maximize their time to maximize their profit.)
1. May 16, 2012
I touched down in Delhi, late Sunday evening, meeting up with Professor Cheema. Except for the masses of Indian people waiting the arrival of other passengers, there were no immediate signs indicating that we were actually 14 hours across the globe in Asia. The terminal was modern and clean, unlike many foreign airports I had previously visited. Professor Cheema and I sat at a café drinking coffee and tea as we anxiously awaited the arrival of our travel buddies. Moreover, English was spoken in abundance. We finally left the airport after each member of our party arrived separately and darted through the night to our hotel, the Taj Ambassador, our new makeshift home for the next week. Barely tired because of the radical time difference, I managed to get a few hours of sleep.
Connaught Place and Chandni Chowk in New and Old Delhi
Uniquely thriving shopping centers and multiple modes of transportation
Our first day out in New Delhi we visited Connaught Place, a vibrant shopping center in the heart of New Delhi’s business district. As a first impression, Connaught Place was quite the eye opener with its abundance of people, cars and businesses, but as we quickly learned it was only minor in comparison to the experience we would have the following day in Chandi Chowk market of Old Delhi.
I landed in Delhi on May 15th at 11:30PM. After hours of flight, I was tired and needed transportation from the airport to the Ambassador hotel, where the group was staying. I wandered around the airport for a while and found a prepaid taxi deal for 400 rupees. I was relieved and thought I was going to be able sleep on the way to the hotel. In no way was I prepared for the thrill I was about to experience. I immediately realized I was in India as I got into the black, green, and yellow taxi, taking notice of the driver seat right side location and the pictures of Hindu gods in the car, illuminated by alternating green and red lights.
Delhi: A contradictory city with contradictory sentiments
Landed at the Indira Gandhi International Airport at midnight on May 14th, I was attracted by the modern look of the design of the terminal, despite struggling to combat jetlag as a result of my flight from US to Taiwan two days earlier. New Delhi welcomed me with the black-flannel-like night sky and 80-degree breeze, which I would learn to appreciate after the sun came back out in the morning.
Pictures from the 2012 May Term class in Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru led by Professor Amar Cheema
First, I would like to beg apologies if my English is a little rusty, I’ve been speaking French all week, and while that is great fun, it does somewhat interfere with my English grammar.
When one travels outside their home country there is often a different currency used at the destination. My interest in currency has increased a great deal this semester for two reasons, studying foreign exchange factors and visiting three countries, each with their own currency. The use of currency is an ancient custom and nearly everything from salt to certificates showing ownership of giant rocks has been used to facilitate transactions. Each of the nations I visited used a different currency, Britain the Pound Sterling, France the Euro, and Denmark the Krone, which is fixed against the Euro.