How to even begin describing my first month in India? Should I start with places (Varanasi, Orchha, Bhopal, Mandu, Maheshwar, Omkareshwar, Bundi, Pushkar, Udaipur...) or experiences (being temporarily dyed purple during the festival of Holi, encountering transvestites on a night train to Kota, just barely preventing a bedbug infestation of my backpack, joining the women of Maheshwar in a mad dance to the goddess Durga...)? Or perhaps I should begin with pictures.
I love it here and at the same time hate it. It's nothing like what I expected yet some things are exactly as I expected. I've been sad, shocked, amazed, and seriously scared at times. Every day I waver between wanting to escape this place and be safe again within my own culture (I know now that I will never understand Indian culture; the longer I stay and the more I learn, the more bewildered I become) and thinking that perhaps I could stay another six months. Confused and uncertain, my only option is to keep moving and see what this insane country will throw at me next. Northward, I think.