Fri 31 Aug
Happiness – walking to your gate with your boarding pass in hand, especially the day after you were turned away for not having your visa cleared.
I’m going to india.
It’s been a top 5 destination for me for a long while now.
Growing up in New Jersey, spending time in engineering school, working with software. I feel like I’m part indian at this point. Specifically, I think my indian hometown is somewhere in gujarat.
I won’t be going there this trip. I’m not completely certain where I’ll end up. Flying into mumbai and out of delhi. Expect the golden triangle, varanasi, and we’ll see what else fits into the short schedule.
What am I looking to do? Just kind of check it out. The taj mahal of course. Food. Colors and textures. Photography. A depth of experience. Appreciating someone else’s spirituality. India is probably going to drown me. Take me and hold me under.
Give me your best. And give me your worst.
This trip once again is packed into a 22-liter pack. As small and as lightweight as I’m comfortable going. Everything I need for a week and half in a place halfway around the world.
I mostly only need myself. But some extra clothes are nice to have. Photography equipment is a necessity. But that’s light as well. I’m leaving behind my zoom lens. And I picked up a lighter tripod that I’m excited to try out.
While I’m not interested in shooting video and adding to the large number of vlogs out there, I did find those useful in preparing for the trip. Over the course of a few short days they replaced the art and photography videos that I’ve been absorbed in.
I’m ready for the chaos. The absurdity. A full grip of new norms. Feeling both smaller and bigger than I ever have before. Complete immersion and growth and destruction of my entire being.
Happiness – me strolling around with a camera.
Give me all of the emotions. Give me all of the experience. Take me and hold me under, india. I’m glad I finally have the chance to meet you and hold you close. Dance with you. Flow with you. Make love to you. Give and take. Do with me as you will chokri.
Sat 01 Sep
My favorite purchase was an omelet pav. Two eggs, a bunch of chopped vegetables, spices, served on two rolls, and which cost about fifty cents.
I don’t think the traffic here is all that crazy. On the uber back from the hotel to the airport the car got hit on both side mirrors, but that’s just how it is.
I’ve learned to tune out the honking.
Crossing the street is kind of like crossing the street in new york. Just go when there’s no vehicles. And if there are vehicles and you’re quick enough then go for it.
Rules are more of a recommendation here.
I don’t really see mumbai as a dirty city. The visible poverty is what you might find elsewhere.
There are places that sell craft beer. It turns out the india pale ales are pretty good here.
One of the differences between having one at home and having one here is the presence of a more serious looking gatekeeper. Not one to manhandle the obnoxious late-night bro, but one to make sure poor people don’t come in.
There’s not all that many white people here. The tourists that I saw were mostly indian.
People do come up to you if your white and ask to take a selfie with you. I just smile and give a thumbs up. The people that I talked with were very nice.
You can find a mcdonalds here if you look. But most of the businesses are a beautiful mess of tiny shops. People don’t pressure you much to buy things.
They say you either love india or you hate it. I can understand the cultural shock some people might have, but I’m easily in the group of people who love this place.
Now that I’m a day into the trip I need to slow down. I notice even in my pictures that there is a sloppiness from moving too fast. Not having the right settings. Sloppy composition. Pretty much a lack of what I’m looking to capture.
That all comes from just not being as in the present moment as I should be. Hopefully I can make that change heading forward. It’s great to flow, but there should be an intention about it.
I also need to eat more of the delicious food.
Sun 02 Sep
Light pastel yellows.
Bridges that remind me of my old home.
I love being able to walk over a lake from one place to another.
A place that allows for some redemption with camera.
The trip is definitely underway now.
The large cityscape of mumbai contrasted with the relaxation of udaipur.
I remember there was what looked like a funeral processing in the streets on the way in.
One of the few ways to get the honking to stop.
My body is a mix of not knowing when to sleep or when to eat.
Everything is going swimmingly though.
The road is always a loving companion.
It will be interesting to see how india changes over the years.
There’s probably a lot of changes that will be made, or at least will be suggested.
Tradition versus growth.
No different than the decisions we must make with our own selves.
Some guy trying to sell me stuff told me he was showing his work at the moma next week.
I wonder if it will be exhibited next to my work.
Do you want it spicy?
Yes, fucking spicy. One of the reasons I came this far was so that my mouth could be on fire. And my insides. I want to eat food so spicy my soul starts crying out of shock and pain.
Even here I get white boy spice.
I can’t be mad.
I can only think back to thailand when tears were streaming down my face and I was sweating because of the heat of the ingredients.
I’m not here for chicken tikka masala.
Kill me with spicy. Destroy me with spicy. Turn me into a fire breathing dragon of spice.
The amount of sirrr pleaaases is at an all-time high.
Damn I love this place.
Mon 03 Sept
A fast paced tuk-tuk gets me to the airport quickly.
I get ripped off another hundred rupees.
I wanted to use an uber but they kept canceling and I have places to get to.
Apni to Jaise Taise by Kishore Kumar plays over the speakers at some point.
You can hear this fire song throughout the following video.
It’s raining when I get here.
The environment is different here than back home.
But I’m excited to see what I find.
I didn’t see anyone using an umbrella. I might follow along, although I’ll probably need it for the camera.
It’s refreshing to see people not scared of water.
Just get a little wet.
Everything will be ok.
I got to my hotel before check in and I had some breakfast while I was waiting.
There’s this one side dish that I asked what the name was. Apparently it was pickles? An incredible unique flavor that I would love on top of a gravy or stew. Salty. A blast of umami. Masala. They say it’s spicy, but not really. Just an amazing little condiment that I would love to have on a whole bunch of dishes back home.
Oh and fresh dosa.
And also omelets are great. They’ve been perfectly cooked everywhere.
The egg is one of those classic ingredients that cultures can overlap on.
I get to feel like I’m at home. Or in france. But really I’m in india. What’s really the difference sometimes?
Jaipur is busy place.
I take a couple tuk-tuk rides around when I can’t get an uber. The riding around gives me a good feel for the place.
I make my way out to amer fort to check out the sights.
The place is enormous.
There is a palace and a huge fort with walls that seem to stretch forever.
Such an immense amount of work went into building this thing and it’s completely unused for its original purpose.
As is the case with these sorts of things.
Humans build a lot of unnecessary stuff.
It eventually crumbles and goes away.
I’ve been getting into a rhythm with the travel and the camera that I’m pretty happy with.
Some of the shots are coming out a lot better than when I started in mumbai.
I just want to keep it going.
The shots are not intended to be a representation of what I saw or did.
Just hopefully capturing something interesting like I try to do when I shoot back home.
There’s a lot of traps that I could have fallen into here taking pictures and I’ve been pretty happy to have avoided them as best as I could.
It’s been a whirlwind so far.
I can sleep when I get back to the rather boring life in nyc.
But until then I’ll be balancing everything that’s being thrown at me, having the best time, and pushing life to its limits.
La la la.
Insert cheesy life cliches and overgeneralizations about a massively large country and a complex world.
But mostly I just really love this place and I’m excited to see what’s up next.