Saturday, June 21, 2008

First impressions

I'm going to keep a running tally of my initial experiences in India vs. those in Kenya.

Day 1 observations:

1. Airport pickup. Greeted by a driver with my name on a placard, and whisked into an AC-filled taxi direct to my destination. Particularly convenient considering it was 3:30am.
India 1, Kenya 0

2. Planning. Despite being assured that I had a reservation at a specific hotel (equipped with an in-room internet enabled computer), I was driven to a different hostel, where they had no idea who I was.
India 1, Kenya 1

3. English. The mamas in my village and the 8-year-0ld street kids in Kenya spoke far better English than the receptionist at the hostel.
India 1, Kenya 2

4. Accommodation. Surprisingly similar - down to the same types of shower pipes, the same quality of bed. I think our first Nairobi hostel had mosquito nets, but this one had fans, so it's a wash.
India 1, Kenya 2

5. Weather. The rumors were true: it is bloody hot and humid here. My glasses fogged up immediately when I got out of the taxi, comically welcoming me to equatorial India.
India 1, Kenya 3

6. Soundtrack. In Nairobi you get cars and drunk men outside your window all night. In Chennai, you get howler monkeys.
India 2, Kenya 3

So net, Kenya is up so far. Which is perhaps surprising considering the ups and downs of my recent visit there. But maybe I should give it more than the 2 hours I've been here.

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