Tag: india-and-china-travel-2013
  1. Beijing and Delhi: An absence of space

    We thought we had learned and adjusted to the crowds in China, but then we arrived in New Delhi. It’s hard to wave someone away when you can understand them. A stranger will open his mouth and English words come out, and immediately, you turn your face and that’s enough to give away that yes, you do understand that “he’s here to help show you the city! Bring you to the best shop in town! To the best food! The best drinks!…don’t walk that way because you’ll end up in the slums, come with me, no come over here…don’t walk in that direction, why don’t you stop in for a bit?…” and on and on.

  2. The Hustle: Delhi in Two Days

    A day earlier, my company and I had shamefully returned to our cold, air conditioned hotel lobby sporting a layer of sweat that stuck our clothes firmly onto our bodies. “We cannot be in Delhi and hide in our hotel all day,” I had hissed. “No, no we can’t.” My company’s forehead was lined with beads of sweat. “Do you want to go out there?” “No, no I don’t.” “What are we going to do? We need to look at the map, but don’t open it in front of the tour guide promoter or else he’s doing to hassle us into buying a tour again.”

  3. China: The Hustle

    There’s something about China that I’ve never seen anywhere else. Here’s an image: it is 9pm at night and dinner has been consumed. The streets have a loud rumble to them, and part of it is the buses and the cars that drive through traffic like traffic laws had never been written; part of it is the music from the elderly practicing their dance forms and exercising outside their homes on the sidewalks, in parking lots, on public spaces, on private spaces; and part of it is the children running around on the streets and the sidewalks and around the homes and in the parks; but most of it is this energy that’s made when every single person in the city is out - whether it’s in Beijing or Luoyang or Xi’an. It’s as if they’d been hiding in their homes all afternoon to avoid the thick, humid heat and the swarms of people (all millions and tens of millions of them) to come out at night and really get on with things, like playing poker on the corner with a couple of beers, a few packs of cigarettes, and bowls upon bowls of salty peanuts.

  4. India, a Dream in Pieces

    Ganga sat hunched with hollow cheeks, the flies landing and going, and the ripple of the water reflecting the thick air. Ganga laid motionless, waiting for the air to speak, and the air did not speak. Ganga cried, and the flies hovered, on sunken cheeks. And then the air spoke and rain came with a flood of wind, and it rained and rained and rained.