One of the few advantages of switching to a time zone ten and a half hours off from your own is that your body occasionally makes entertaining decisions. For example, my body insists on waking me up several hours before my alarm every day despite having only gone to bed a few hours earlier. I toss and turn and try to return to slumber, but it seems to be no use, and I find myself rising and puttering around in the soft dawn light.
I’ve always envied morning people, who seems to find their fulfillment in a morning run or early work session. These people will always insist, of course, that they are not morning people, and developed this routine through necessity and determination. Which is exactly the sort of thing morning people would say.
I can safely assure you that no amount of need or determination will ever convert me into a consistent attender of the sun’s dawning festivities, but it’s a quite charming switch to be able to sneak a peek at my fellow man’s lifestyle. The first day alone, I packed in a long shower and morning workout before wandering the nearby streets for an hour with my camera, shooting footage of the morning rush. I finished it all off with a leisurely breakfast while perusing the local paper, clucking my tongues at the goings-on of those saucy Bollywood celebrities (newspapermen here lack the dusty sensibility of American papers. For example, one of the headlines from this morning read only “Oh, Please God, No!”), all before our bus left at 7:30. American Me would still be feeling for my glasses at 7:28.
As I write this, we are winging our way through the night towards Hyderabad, leaving Delhi behind. After spending much of the past three days bouncing endlessly about the city in vans, I am perhaps happier to see it go than I would have been had we explored it at a slower pace, but I retain real fondness for the city nonetheless. Its endless hustle and excitement stands in pleasant contrast to Houston’s empty urbanity. The city swings drastically from the shiny glass and chrome of commercial wealth to dusty poverty at the drop of a hat. I could spend a long time learning the city’s rhythms without ever getting used to the juxtaposition, I think
I better go. The gentleman next to me has a copy of Mein Kampf and is reading selections of it aloud to his wife. This seems the sort of situation that bears keeping a closer eye on.