Delhi: 2903km

“But that’s the glory of foreign travel… Suddenly you are five years old again. You can’t read anything, you have only the most rudimentary sense of how things work, you can’t even reliably cross a street without endangering your life. Your whole existence becomes a series of interesting guesses.”

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I am obviously just too polite. Or at least that is how I feel in Delhi. Multiple times everyday I have found myself waiting in line for food or to board the metro, and right when it became my turn, someone would walk up and take my spot. I have quickly learned that being polite won’t get me anywhere here, since India is a place with no rules.

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In Black and White: 2903km

“When you photograph people in color, you photograph their clothes. But when you photograph people in black and white, you photograph their souls!”

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Old Delhi, a small section of town that use to be marked by elegant mosques and gardens when the Persian Mughal Emperor ruled in the 17th century is now crowded, run-down, and one of the most chaotic places I have ever been. There are no words to describe it, and no way to capture it through the lens. There are thousands of people (predominately Muslim), food stands, shops, and bike rickshaws fighting to fit through the narrow street. Though I was wearing my scarf over my head (in a faux-burka), I obviously stood out being the only white girl in a sea of Muslim men. I decided to take a bike rickshaw down the street in order to explore from a bit more of a distance, and here is a bit of what I saw.

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In a Man’s World: 2903km

“Equality is the soul of liberty; there is, in fact, no liberty without it.”

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My stomach churned as I stepped out of the Delhi airport and into the muggy air that assaulted me. It was 2 o’clock in the morning, and after two days of flying I had finally arrived in India. I was more than just slightly nervous. Biking in the U.S. had turned out to be easier than I had expected, but I knew l was entering into a whole different world. India is in many ways a cyclist’s hell. With over 1.2 billion habitants, it is extremely crowded and the streets are filled with scooters, rickshaws, dogs, and people. It is hot (high 30’s or low 40’s C), but it’s the 95% humidity that makes it difficult to breath, never mind move. And to top it off, the air quality here is one of the worst in the world. It’s not the heat, chaotic driving, disease, or living conditions that worry me though, it’s the fact that I am a single girl trying to survive in a man’s world.

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