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27 June 2017

Taking Stock in Dehli #HogsAbroad in India

We arrived in Delhi late last night. The entirety of yesterday was spent on the plane. I’m a little jetlagged right now but I’m very excited to be in India. We are leaving the airport right now, but already I am overwhelmed with different sensations in the dark. The air is very thick and humid, I expected it to be hot but I didn’t expect it to be this humid. It is surprising to see so many homeless people outside the airport, they are lying down in the grass or sand lining the path that we take to get to the cars.

The drive to Colonel’s Retreat is interesting. There are many cars on the road and no one is in lanes. I didn’t realize that some many cars could fit horizontally on such a road. The most overwhelming part of the drive back is all of the honking. We might have briefly discussed traffic in the prep classes but I can’t remember what was said. I don’t think anything could have prepared me for actually being out there in the traffic. It’s unique to see that the big trucks have messages painted on them saying to “please honk” if they need to go around.

There is so much honking happening from all sides. In the United States, it’s considered rude to honk at people in traffic and it’s often done only when absolutely necessary. I can understand why they honk here – it’s to let other drivers know that they are going around them, that they’re going to slow, or to get their attention if the other driver isn’t moving when they’re supposed to. There’s so many cars out on the road that it would be very hard to regulate the flow of traffic within the conventional confines of a traffic system like we have in the United States.

When we arrive at Colonel’s Retreat, I am pleasantly surprised by how nice the hotel is. We talked about where we were going in the prep classes, but we didn’t really get into specifics about what our living accommodations would look like. I didn’t have much of an idea about where we were going to stay, but I was impressed by the cleanliness of the retreat. My nose was assaulted by the harsh smells of Delhi. It first hit me when we were on the bus on the way to the retreat and it hit me again when I stepped off of the bus. It smelled like a mixture of sewage and spices. I was taken aback by the intensity of the smell. In our prep classes, Vikas had told us that it would be a big adjustment to get used to all of the smells and that there wasn’t really anything we could do to prepare ourselves for that aspect of the trip and I definitely understand what he meant by this. There was absolutely nothing that could be done to prepare me for the smells of Delhi.
Courtney, U of A Faculty-Led International Business in India Summer Program
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