The days I did not want to think of have arrived. Tonight I will arrive again in Chandigarh. Tuesday and Wednesday, I will have to pack all my stuff and say goodbye to everyone I have grown fond of. That will definitely not be easy! I cannot even imagine to be back in Germany in less than a week. On the one hand I am looking forward to coming back to Germany. On the other hand I do not want to leave my life here behind. India and particularly Chandigarh have become my second home.
Looking back at One Year in India
Looking back, I have to say that the decision to go to India was absolutely and definitely right! I can only recommend this country and especially this (my) city Chandigarh to everyone. Those were unique seven months that I spent with great people. I hope, I can meet as many as possible again in the future. The different experiences on all my trips, but also in my daily routine are enough for a whole life. That far away from home the emotions one feels are much, much stronger than in a familiar environment. I guess this is what makes people grow. However, right now I cannot feel that.
The Rock Garden
Chandigarh is a very good city to live in. However, it does not have many sights for tourist. Strangely it took me until my last day to finally visit the city’s famous rock garden. The rock garden is somehow a nice park with a lot art sculptures and statues. Nek Chand, the founder / builder of the rock garden collected waste from everywhere in the city and turned that waste into sculptures. He then created an entire park around these sculptures. What a great way of recycling! The rock garden is beautiful and I am very happy, that one of my coworkers took me to it on my last day in Chandigarh. I would have missed one important thing.
Highlights of My Daily Routine
I know I will miss India and its people very much. The time was simply too beautiful. I cannot really say, what I will miss the most, but here are a few things, that never made it to one of my posts, because I have hardly written about my daily routine:
- Going to the closed nearby ‘English Wine & Beer shop’ in the middle of the night; knocking on the closed gates, because there is always something possible in India and you know for sure that you will still get something
- Cooking for ten people in a kitchen where actually only two fit in; then discussing with the guy downstairs that you invited friends again, although it was already the sixth or seventh time
- Bargaining prices down to a ‘minimum’ on Indian markets and still seeing the shopkeeper smile at you knowing he still made profit
- Going spontaneously to your boss’ home; knowing exactly that you are invited for dinner, since you kind of belong to the family
- Shopping at the vegetable market; learning the names for some vegetables first in Hindi, then in English and only with the help of Google in German
- Getting an awesome lunch at the roadside for 20 cents
- Seeing cows in the streets
- Seeing and smelling (!) incinerations next to the road
- … the list could go on
My Travel Highlights
For me, India will always be connected with great trips and amazing sights I have seen. All my trips were marvelous. However, the following were my personal highlights:
- The calm hill station Shimla
- Meeting the Dalai Lama in McLoed Ganj
- Diwali and the Jal Mahal in Jaipur
- The mind-blowing Taj Mahal in Agra
- The beaches in Goa
- Seeing the Kangchenjunga on the Goecha La trek
My personal travel highlights are widespread. India as a country is even more diverse. I you ever get the chance to visit India, do not miss it. Nevertheless, be open minded and expect the unexpected. India is not the typical tourist country. It might be tough in the beginning, but it is worth the patience.
I have asked myself this question. However, it seems unreal to think about getting back into an European student routine. All the emotions of leaving this place are too overwhelming at the moment. I know, the plan is to stay in Germany for five months, before moving to Sheffield, UK. I want to study there for a year. My biggest worry is, that I have changed so much, that I will not ‘fit in’ anymore. I guess I will see. I am not sure, when I will come back to India. I definitely know, that I will come back some day. Thus, the question is not if, but when.