13 January 2016

From JFK to Jaipur (India!!!)

The morning I left was awful. I got up early, unable to sleep, stressed out, and kept on trying to wake up Wayne to talk or cuddle and he was in one of those in-dead-sleep-can’t-wake-up-moods. I went on a four mile run, my longest and most pain-free runs, and felt great. Then I went home, showered, tried to eat, and Jess came over. She watched me pack and run around like a maniac (I was only half-dressed when she arrived.) and we left the house late. Then we missed the G train I needed to catch and so I just put a taxi on my credit card.

At the airport, I was full of emotion. Excitement. A lump in my throat. I didn’t want to leave Wayne - and was it the right decision to quit a job of ten years, a job that had become such a huge part of my life, of even, my personality? Jess came with me and calmed me down from having a total meltdown. I went through security and boarded soon after.

But of course, being AirIndia, there was a delay. A 2.5 hour delay. “Air India is like you are already in India,” Jonathan had told me. Indeed. There was almost no information about the delay.

I mainly slept the flight, and they woke all of us up to eat. Like a small child, I sat up, ate as much as I could, and then returned to sleep. I think it was emotional exhaustion. When I woke up in Delhi, I had to do immigration, get my bag (which took forever), customs ignored us. And then I met Arun.

Arun was an ultrarunning friend of Yuri’s (fellow ultrarunner living in NYC); Yuri connected us. Arun invited me to visit his sister’s family in Jaipur.

Because my flight was delayed, we could no longer take the train to Jaipur; it was a “government bus.” I’m pretty sure if we were in the U.S., this bus would have been condemned, oh a good thirty years ago. There were two seats on one side, three seats on the other. The bus was jam-packed and we were lucky to have seats.

When the bus arrived, we literally ran for it. The bus was moving as I climbed aboard it. I fell forward with my giant pack and thought, “Where the hell am I?”

Then we proceeded through the most miserable traffic I had ever seen. I kept flinching. I could not belive people drove like such maniacs and thought our bus driver had a death wish. (I later learned this was the norm.) I kept falling asleep and was uncomfortable and felt like a bad guest. Arun and I spoke about running, our lives, and he answered questions about India.

Then we got to Jaipur. We got on an autorickshaw, and Arun had to haggle furiously. THe driver stopped after abt three minutes (on a maybe ten minute ride) to pee. That’s India. (Really, you can’t hold it? Ha!) It was cold and then the driver put the plastic sides down and we were warmer.

Arriving there late at night made me feel finally, after so many hours of the journey, I could relax.

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