Tuesday, October 30, 2007

INDIA! Scary Day

The last India post, which was a couple weeks ago, left us leaving the forts being followed my a little lady babbling a string of words in English.
After our little experience at the Fort our driver took us to a nice restaurant. It was a 3 story building. When we walked in the man asked us what type of cuisine we wanted and directed us to the appropriate level in the building. The second floor was India Cuisine. The table was very low and so were the chairs. The food was delicious.
After that was probably one of the worst experiences of the whole trip. Shopping at Chalimar. It was so crowded. There were so many people that the cars could barely drive down the road. The people were all following us and begging us and pulling us to go to their stand. It was loud and confusing. The streets reeked of filth and urine. A little boy followed us, right on our heels, asking us to buy a necklace. They just badger and beg right up in your face over and over and over and over. The little boy was cute. Soon an older boy came up to him and started pushing him and yelling at him and then trying to sell HIS stuff to us. He was pushing the little boy away so we’d buy from HIM! One of the men at one of the booths said something very harsh to him and he possibly threatened him and he left the little boy alone, but hung around.
My bladder was about to explode. There are no buildings really, just booths along the streets. And little back allies. We actually came to a street with some government buildings. They were kind of open air buildings. There was a police station. I went in and asked the guys with big guns if they had a restroom I could use. They didn’t speak English, but understood. They pointed to an archway with a partial wooden door. I opened it and was now outside in a dark alley. It was like a hallway with no ceiling. It was damp and dirty and full of trash and there was a nasty drippy faucet- probably more “DRINKING WATER” . There was a drain in the ground that was just so gross. And the door to the toilet. It was just a hole in the ground. No toilet. Not even like a port-a-potty here with a ‘toilet’ that leads to a hole. It was just a filthy, stinky room with a hole in the ground and door. Good think I bring wipes and hand cleanser. NASTY. The holes in the ground in the country side of China were a lot nicer than this!

After I came out, the little boy with the necklaces was STILL there trying t get my husband to buy something. Neither of us does well with pressure. We need a quiet minute to think. We crossed the street to this tower thing. Looked like an old bell tower. We bought a ticket (about $3) and went in to have a look. And for quiet.

There was teeny, narrow twisted stairwell that led to the top. It was dark and the steps were VERY steep. The spiral was very tight. You could see a few steps ahead. And there is no way a chubby person could go up them. Brian went up and I stayed. I get pretty claustrophobic and after yesterday’s asthma stuff and the pressing crowd today, I was feeling claustrophobic out on the streets!

I called up to Brian that I would try to come up in a few minutes. I stood and 2 men came and went up. I looked up, took a deep breath, stepped back out, and took another deep breath.. OI repeated that about 10 times. Then I tried a few steps… and came back…. But then I just did it. I thought I was going to die. I could barely breathe and was so panicky. There was a teeny window every few twists and I would stick my head out and breath. The steps kept ascending higher and higher and there seemed to be no end. I kept getting to the break of a panic attack and would tell myself it was just around the next turn…… about 20 turns later I came out in the open.

I walked around and couldn’t find Brian. Some guard said he recognized me from the Hyderabad conference and was very talkative and was going to show me around. I felt scared and turned him down and walked away.

A young couple stopped me and asked to take their picture. I did. Then the man wanted to take a picture of me with his wife (or girlfriend). I was in a little well with a HUGE window- almost open doorway, which opened to the floor below….. WAY BELOW at the bottom of the tower. Next thing I know there were 8 other people crowded in and pushing and wanted my picture or to take theirs and I couldn’t breath and was afraid they’d push me over the edge to my bloody demise! (Brian got upset when I admitted to him, finally, how paranoid and depressed the meds made me)

I saw Brian across the open area and called him over. I pushed my way through the crowd of picture mongers and saw Brian and about burst into tears. Then we had to WALK DOWN that horrible stairwell!! And this time I was boxed in front and back with people. I was starting to hyperventilate and saying “I can’t! I can’t do it!!”. The couple in front of us were Americans and Brian told them I was claustrophobic and they stayed a few steps ahead and talked me down, telling me what was next, the turns and windows, etc…. and Brian stayed about 4 steps behind me to give me room.

At the bottom I just sat on the floor in the open area and rested. It was kind of quiet- thought loud just outside. It was nice and the floor was cool. After about 30 minutes we left.

The little boy was still there. Brian bought a necklace from him. As he got out money to pay, an old man JUMPED up and grabbed my husbands hand with the money and was trying to take it! This kind of freaked me out, esp after my last little adventure! Brian seemed OK. He’s very, very calm and even-keeled. A police man saw the scuffle and came over and yelled at the man and pushed him away. The old man broke my necklace Brian just bought (for $3..LOL).
The we met the girls and drove to the airport

India Posts: India Post #1 --- India Post #2 ---India Post #3 ---India Post #4--- India Post #5 --- India #6 ---India #7 --- India #8 --- India #9 --- India #10 --- India #11 --- India #12 --- India post #13))
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