Oh No! Delhi Again
Our train pulled into Delhi and we (being experienced now!) prepared ourselves for the push. We got off smoothly and used our group presence to hurl ourselves through the train station and out into the street where our guide successfully negotiated three taxis for 1000 rupees.
I sat with Harry and Michael. By the design of the taxi, we all had an excellent view of the oncoming night time traffic magic. The driver was going so fast you would think we were racing our traveling mates in their taxis to get to our destination. We swerved in and out of the same oncoming chaos that we were now getting accustomed to only this time we were laughing with ourselves as we made play by play remarks, like sports announcers back home.
When we arrived at our hotel, we applauded our driver!
The next morning I became increasingly aware of the pollution in Delhi which assualts my sinuses first, something I was well aware of the first time we passed through here. A sinus headache began.
A few hours later, as we made our way to the airport to take a flight to Dharamsala, I had to close my eyes in the sunlight and traffic. My sinus headache was turning into a migraine.
I felt impatient, hot and cold.
We boarded our tiny plane for Dharamsala and as it took off, we were breathing gas fumes and odors from the bathrooms on the plane. The ride was unusually bumpy and my headache symptoms increased to include a wavy stomach. Ick!
As we landed in Dharamsala and made our way by taxi to our hotel, I was aware of the incredible beauty of the high mountain region around me, particularly obvious on the windiest unfinished roads we’ve been on. As my migraine and wavy tummy were increasing, this rollercoaster ride was also increasingly unpleasant.
I remembered that as we were boarding our plane in Delhi, the steward’s name tag said “Surender,” which was his first name. A sign from God, I practiced deeply relaxing my head, my mind, my tummy, and my preferences (for smoother roads, better auto shocks, and more organized oncoming traffic). I also reminded myself that we were heading to altitude, which could make all of these symptoms worse.
As soon as we arrived at our hotel, I went to bed, where I stayed for 60 hours, except for the outing to be with the Dalai Lama. I was now acculturated into the “get sick in India” experience that I had heard so much about!
With the support of a cocktail of medicines, some I would only rarely, rarely ingest at home, and mindfulness meditations on pain, heat, chills, and wavy tummy symptoms, I alternately struggled with and rested into the experience; and was well aware of the love that stopped by my room to check in on me.
On the morning that my fever broke, I requested the breakfast of champions, the only thing I was craving: orange juice and Sprite. Majid delivered and popped open the Sprite, delighted to see me upright and enthusiastic.
Later this same day, I ate my first real foods, also the only things I was craving: Lay’s potato chips and ginger snaps.
I won’t be writing any nutritional books on the yogic diet any time soon!