A year passed by, and I decided to join a volunteer program to teach Spanish in India. The story is a bit longer than that. Actually, I wanted to travel to Beijing and teach there in a foreign language school, but the exchange program with China was cancelled by the university and the coordinator suggested me to join the program in Delhi University. According to her, more or less the experience was the same. I could not imagine:
1. How was actual India!
2. That I would be attached to this country for the 10 years to come.
I shaved my hair and travel to the unknown. My experience in Delhi was far from idyllic. I was sick almost half of the time, I got sunburnt several times due to the strength of tropical sunlight and, finally, I went back home with 13 kg less. A real unexpected diet program. But, India was such an amazing intense slap on my face, that I decided to come again and again.
In India I faced for the first time an alien culture that made sense only within itself. Out of it, most of the experiences that I had during my Indian summer were hilarious and senseless. I used to have the most spicy food ever in the canteen of a urban university that, at times, looked to me like a jungle. Under a banyan tree, we chitchatted about this and that, with youth in love with a country, mine, that they have never seen (and some of them would never see). One reason to come back was not Indian tea (chai), for sure. Indian tea is sweet, with milk and flavoured with spices. Cardamom is used in the summers to cool down and ginger in winter to warm up the body. Other mixtures like clove, black pepper, cinnamon and so on are used in certain situations. The man of the tea (chaiwala) is everywhere, and tea is brewed in the most unexpected places in the middle of the street. Dust might be one unavoidable ingredient of this tea.