Joma Moves to India!
Anxious, excited, nervous, giddy – I’m feeling all of these emotions and all at the same time leading up to my move. However, now that I’m actually here, all my fears and reservations pretty much have subsided and have been replaced with a feeling of rejuvenation. I am much more excited for this new opportunity, my new home for the year and all of the great people that I’m bound to meet on my journey in India.
Arriving in Bangalore around 11 pm on a Sunday, one would expect chaos, right? Wrong, not much chaos in the airport. Going through customs and gathering my luggage is relatively painless but finding my driver, Kiran, in the sea of people outside of the exit doors is the opposite. I suppose that was chaos’ queue to show up. Luckily, a man in a suit comes up to me and asks me where I’m staying. He senses that I’m hesitant to disclose that information so he shows me a list that has my name on it. We find Kiran and as I get into the car, Kiran welcomes me with a huge smile and my Indian sim card in order to reconnect with everyone. Yes, interwebz! At this point, it hasn’t really hit me that I’m across the world and not on vacation but I’m feeling refreshed despite the 21+ hour flight.
Traffic is non-existent for the ride home and I’m thinking traffic isn’t as bad as people say it is in Bangalore. I. AM. SO. WRONG. So very wrong. Traffic is a nightmare in Bangalore. It will take you 1 hour to go 6 miles and sometimes even 3 miles. Sunday is the only day when your food delivery will get to you in 8 minutes versus 49 minutes for a 2 mile drive. Nonetheless, I’m unfazed by traffic as the unfamiliarity calls for my attention in every which way.
LIKE COWS. If you haven’t noticed by my IG stories, I’m obsessed with the cows. I’m already obsessed with the dogs (frankly, all animals) but there are cows and bulls everywhere – on the sidewalk, in the neighborhood, side of the road, and the middle of the road! I’m almost certain that I’ve seen more cows roaming around than dogs. In India, you’re more likely to get to the other side of the street safely if you’re a cow. Traffic will come to a complete stop for cows but not for pedestrians here. I myself have yet to muster enough courage to cross the street; it might take me a few months or never.
I can continue this post and talk about the amazing people, the delicious (and insanely cheap) food and how lovely and perfect the no jacket weather is but in the short time that I’ve been here, I’ve already noticed some of the eco and social issues in Bangalore such as pollution to wealth disparity. As such, I’m hoping to connect with a nonprofit here on behalf of GoodTravels in hopes that we can help in some way whether it’s volunteering in the field or raising awareness! If you’re traveling and you want to help but your itinerary simply doesn’t allow for it, you can still engage with the community by getting to know the locals, buying from local shops and experiencing the culture. Remember to keep your eyes, mind and heart open at all times!