Sunday 13 March 2011

India - first impressions

The airport was still, empty expanses of shining floors reflecting fluorescent lights, beckoning the child in me to run and slide across them. queues of weary waiting passengers. The lady on passport control didn't quite believe that Kirsty was the same girl as in her passport photo. Long stares, eyes moving up and down from passport to face. She asked Kirsty her name and date of birth and let her through. As if a 'fake' wouldn't learn at least those details! Passport lady looked hard at me for a long while too. I wasn't sure whether to smile or not.

On stepping outside, Chennai is orange and dark blue. Orange from street lights that bathe the faces of the waiting crowds and people sleeping on the floors in an amber glow. Navy for the night, it is 2am, and dark spaces fill the gaps in the orange. I cannot see much from the taxi window, just long roads with barricades down the middle and men still gathered on street corners. The taxi flashes his lights as he overtakes vehicles on both their left and right. it smells... warm. Humid air filling my nose and lungs. I expected to be more overwhelmed by the smells, but they are gentle so far.

Sounds are horns beeping, dogs barking, fans rotating to cool our rooms and unknown insects buzzing and rattling throughout the night. And the sound of the sea, visible from our window, lapping against India's eastern coast.

So far the people I've met or seen seem shy, but friendly. Subtle exchanges you can barely notice. Saris grace the women, long scarves and triangles of exposed back or stomach. We have been well looked after so far at the YWAM base where we're staying. The mango squash is delicious. I find it quite strange that we will eat separately from the others, but people come in and out of our sitting/dining area regularly, and we'll be spending lots of time with those who are doing the movement stuff with us this week.

I am happy to be here. At last. A smile bubbled out of me as I left the airport.

the view from the roof...


looloo said...

Awesome!! :-) x

Anonymous said...

It's great to read about our first few hours from your perspective ... it's good to be here! Kirsty x