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India - Arriving safely

Because it's my second time I don't feel any culture shock whatsoever, not so far anyway. I remember the first time in India was a real culture shock and then travelling through South East Asia being a follow on from that. I remember the first time feeling it as I moved through each airport as the cultures changed. When I left New Zealand this time, my first flight was fully business Wellington to Auckland at seven am. Auckland to Singapore still had a sense of business but holiday and the rest came into play, many different cultures and then Singapore to Chennai, myself and one other girl were the only tourists I think. I spoke to a couple of men, both coming home to see there elderly mother's after many years overseas working.

Arriving in India was fine, I'd been worried for a couple of weeks about who was picking me up from the airport. I'd been assured by the yoga school that they would send a taxi and it was fine, fine until I started catastrophizing, I started getting really paranoid about who I might have given my flight details too via Whats-app... You know? Picturing myself being brutally attacked and left in a ditch, as you do? I don't necessarily think this is a bad thing, I think it triggers us to make sure everything is properly organised and we are the safest we can be. Right? Fear is there to keep us safe after all and India doesn't have the best reputation for female travelers. I will say the people have always been very nice here, very very good people, it's because of the Yoga you see. 😜 I got confirmation of taxi details from the school via email as I requested eventually and it was all just perfect really. Sevlam the taxi man picked me up and raced though the crazy streets of Chennai. I became really grateful I'd chose to do the three hour journey to Pondicherry at ten pm as now it's probably much better traffic.. not that you'd know, especially after living in New Zealand for almost three years. My friend Bishnoi - who is also staying here and doing yoga told me that there is 1.3 billion people live in India. I told him about five million live in new Zealand, I think that conversation created silence as we pondered on it. It's fun to experience all things Indian again though, the bum gun, the cold showers and the hard beds, all the reasons to miss home. I never think of these things while I'm dreaming of far away travels. I think of the crazy auto rickshaw journeys though, I really love that, I don't think many people do, but I think it's a highlight, forgetting the pollution of course!

The Srima school is ran by Swami and Mrs Swami Srima, it's nice, a big three story building with a massive marble yoga room and a rooftop- I've not been up there yet. The garden with all the pets is enough to keep me entertained. My room is on the second floor and its en suite and my roommate will be arriving at three am tonight, like I did last night. She's Swiss and pregnant , that's all I know. I'm sure she will have a story. The others are already here, a Brazilian guy who's been here for three months last year and has returned on his way to Nepal, I think we will hang out tomorrow and discover Auroville, he can show me around.

Bishnoi is the other one, he's a yoga teacher from Delhi and he's come to get his registration here for his own school back in Delhi. He's done two hundred hours of yoga teacher training (YTT). He's married with 2 adult children. He said I should get married, Indian culture, I'm sure I will hear lots more of this. I hope the Swiss pregnant girl is married, well maybe not, then they can focus there "should get married banter on her". That's all from me today... I need a catnap. P.s I miss Laurie.

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