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Monday, February 1, 2010

A shining city - missing the shine

It's crazy and normal, it's amazing and chaotic, it's beautiful and messy, it's warm and sticky.. the contrasts are out of this world, and guess what?? I'm loving every minute of it!

I'm here only 24 hours, and already I feel so safe.This city of Cochin is big, hectic and as you walk along the streets, the smells differ from one moment to the next. The people stop and stare, I give them a smile, especially the women, they smile back and I couldn't be self conscious, even if I tried.

Getting off the plane yesterday, was probably the biggest step. I didn't want the flight to end. I wanted to stay up high in the sky. I was pretty happy, but from KL to Cochin was only 4 hours! At customs I was spoken to by many people, wondering if I was traveling alone. They were officials, they were passengers, they were security guards. Once they knew I was alone, I heard the comment: God, you're a brave young girl! I brushed it off and tried not to let that scare me. At arrivals everything fell into place. There was a cabdriver with a piece of pape with my name written on it! Thank the lord! It was all falling into place. I then had the most insane drive of my life to the hotel and I was loving it so much. I sat there with this stupid grin on my face.. so much so that my cheeks started to hurt.. I couldn't speak, as I was so amazed by everything..

I couldn't believe that I had made it. I thought to myself: Now, THIS is the life!! I'm not talking about that wild cab-ride, which by the way made me suddenly so happy that I don't know the rules of the road, because otherwise I'd have really been freaking out (you see, there are always upsides to not having a licence!!!), instead I'm talking about everything that was surrounding me.

I got to the hotel, at around dinnertime and I had envisioned me to be in a place that would be dirty, old, derelict, with bugs, mould, and anything else that would seem not too hygienic. Well, having had that attitude really paid off; the attitude of: expect nothing and everything is a bonus! That's exactly what happened! I've the best room in the world! Tv, en-suite bathroom, double bed, clean sheets, and even space to do yoga in the morning! But this hotel I'll only be staying at until tomorrow. I don't know what the next place will be like. I only know that it's a room in an apartment. So, to still be realistic and to still feel okay with whatever comes along, I'm, again, expecting nothing, so everything will be a big big plus! How exciting is this!

This morning the course started. 9am, I walked into the classroom, and instantly I was at home. 8 Indians, a Finnish guy and a Canadian girl, Doris. And each and every one of them is so so nice! Within minutes we were a bunch of classmates, all with different stories to tell and different reasons for being there but with the same passion to pursue a careerr (what a laugh..Niamh..a career???!!!huumm have to see how that plans out..)Anyhow, so cool to be in the classroom again, taking notes, learning and in the breaks having amazing conversations of great depth with these inspiring people, especially the Canadian girl. She's so so inspiring and we're very like-minded.

I sat in the classroom today and knew that this would be great. This course will be intense, but it will give me amazing opportunities. To be suddenly learning how I'll be teaching English to young kids, hopefully, was the strangest feeling, yet so normal at the same time. I know I can do this course and today I felt so blessed for having this opportunity. Because to know that I could stay in India, through doing a job like that, was indescribable..

I have no guidebook, I have no nothing and I feel so great. However I am still aware of what others could see and maybe think, as I walk along these streets of madness, giving off the impression that I've been here for so long. The doctor I went to see in Australia for my vaccines, was Indian and he told me to be aware of the devil that sits in every person. He said everyone can be and act so friendly but being a girl alone, I have to ALWAYS keep in the back of my mind, that in all good people there can still be some bad. Good advice I'd say. A little daunting maybe, but I took it on board..

For now, I'm still savouring what I'm seeing, hearing, feeling and even smelling.. I made it, I'm here and if the past 24 hours are anything to go by, then every other hour should offer something knew, revealing, inspiring and eye-opening.. be that in the good or the not so good way. This morning before leaving to go to school (!!!), I told myself to know that whatever happens "out there", as I was sat in the comfort of that hotel room, "nice" and isolated from the world, it's all happening for a reason. Be it for me to learn, to grow, to cop-on, to get motivated or even to maybe realize that this isn't for me. It's all fine, whatever happens. It's all leading me to where I'm supposed to go. Any fears would only stop those certain things from coming to me; be they good or bad. I don't want those things to NOT come to me, they must. It's the only way to live.

All the contrasts that can be felt and experienced in this amazingly beautiful city, that has nothing that sparkles or shines, which makes THAT in actual fact the reason for it to be beautiful, will show me the way. For now that's all I can say. I'm excited to be here and for now, it's more than I could have ever hoped for.. How blessed I am!

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