- Rahul- There is a reason he is number one on my list. Rahul, beloved driver/tour guide/Indian historian/friend played such a critical part in making our trip SO ENJOYABLE! And we are not just saying this because he continually showered us with compliments regarding our "pretty blue eyes" and "nice smiles." (Of course who wouldn't enjoy such constant flattery?!?) He runs a first-class car service and if you are coming to Delhi any time soon, he is the one thing you absolutely cannot miss! Punctual, polite and funny to boot, we are missing him dearly since arriving home.
|Sad that we didn't get a proper picture, but I noticed that in this one of India Gate, I've captured a glimpse of him in the rear view mirror!|
- The Chaos- Granted, of all things in Delhi it's the hardest to get used to. But once you've acquired the taste, I believe it's quite addictive. Upon waking our first morning at home, we couldn't get over the eeriness of the quiet. I considered getting into my car and leaning on the horn for a few minutes-- just for old times sake.
- Feeling Royal- Longing for a dose of the royal treatment? Take a trip to Delhi. From the personal door openers to the shopkeepers serving us drinks as we browsed, Delhi gives new meaning to the words "customer service." Also, not to be forgotten-- the "Indian Paparazzi Children" leaping out of crowds and swiftly snapping our pictures. This, totally cracked us up.
- Eating McDonalds... every day- As I mentioned before, Duane has a fatal allergy to tree nuts, coconuts, and most anything with a variation of the word "nut" in it. While it's a chore keeping him alive on our own turf, attempting to explain the allergy, its serious nature, and the possible consequences of cross contamination is next to impossible in a foreign country. We knew McDonalds was a safe bet and as a result, ate there once, twice, sometimes three times a day... for eight long days in a row. By the end of the trip, we were beginning to feel as if we were secretly starring in SuperSize Me 2: Duane and Bernadette Take India.
- Humidity- Certain that the phrase "bad hair day" originated in Delhi.
- Pollution- When we arrived at Newark Liberty International Airport, Duane took a long deep breath and said, "Mmmmm, fresh air!" It is doubtful these words have ever been uttered in Newark, but when you are arriving fresh from Delhi, it's all relative.
- Security- With Independence Day approaching on the 15th, security was heightened all around Delhi. Our hotel was attached to a mall, which meant that often times to move 100 feet, we had to walk through several metal detectors. Upon passing through the detectors, the detectors would always beep, signaling that yes, metal had been detected. Nevertheless, despite the signal, we were then just smiled at and waved on through. Perhaps they were going for more of a "deterrence" plan?
- Being Too Big- Duane happens to be 6 ft. 3 in. In the US, this makes him pretty tall. In India, this makes him a giant. We giggled as we walked through Connaught Place and all the vendors yelled out "We have big! We have big!" But we died laughing when Duane got a massage and was instructed to dawn the below garment!
- Other Stuff - I am saving the following pictures, should our children ever complain about yard work, taking out the trash, or ever having to engage in any sort of manual labor...
|Delhi's resident gas and electric crew|
|Raking leaves with a straw broom...|
- Everything- boarding the plane to Delhi, landing in Delhi, waking our first morning in Delhi, visiting SCI for our first appointment, visiting SCI for our last appointment, the temples, the street children, meeting our surrogate, the email describing our fantastic egg retrieval, meeting one week old Isabella, phoning our families and hearing their supportive words, boarding the plane home, landing in Newark, when Rahul called to tell Duane he will miss him very much...
In sum... the entire trip.
Never have the tears flowed so freely, and we are so grateful for such an amazing experience! Best wishes to all those who are considering embarking on a similar one. We know the fear that accompanies sending that first wire, but we can assure you that we haven't the slightest regret...