I must have been on a mailing list from Amy Butler, because that’s how I learned about her workshop. She and Sujata Shah went to India two years ago with three groups, one week each, and 2020 was the return trip. Since none of my usual traveling companions was interested, I just signed myself up, thinking that I would be with like-minded people and in a little bit of a bubble for my first encounter with a very different place. Sixteen of us were signed up for the trip and nine of us went on a pre-trip jaunt to Agra to see the Taj Mahal. It was exhausting, gorgeous, surprising, beautiful, and overwhelming.
The drill is that you land in Delhi close to midnight and go immediately to your hotel. Steve from Eternal Journeys had arranged all of our transport and escorts, so we just looked for our name at the airport and trooped onto a minibus that took us to our hotel. The marigold necklaces and bunch of flowers are traditional, and we festooned ourselves and the bus seats with them for the next few days.
After breakfast – we had our choices of coffee, tea, eggs, yogurt, bread and Indian delights, a spread that would become familiar soon – we took a quick walk around the neighborhood before the bus came, and I saw my first cow in the street. This soon became routine, but it is startling the first time you see it.
(Those are house crows on top of this cow.)
First impressions: a friendly group of women, a very different place, and delicious food. Onward!