Hello World! My name is Karly Placek and I’m studying in India this semester. Back home I’m a Documentary Studies and Production major at Ithaca College in New York, though I grew up in a small farming town in Wisconsin. Here in India I’m studying sustainable development and social change at the School for International Training’s center in Jaipur, Rajasthan.
When I first stepped off of the plane in Delhi, the sights (and smells) of the city were quite overwhelming. I had never seen so many small shops in a city, each with colorful signs in a syllabary I could not yet read. There were people everywhere I looked outside –on the streets, in the markets, within alleys, on top of zooming motorbikes. This new environment seemed so claustrophobic. I had never lived in a large city before and suddenly I found myself in the second most populous country in the world. My first few days were spent driving around in “speeding” rickshaws, laughing at the antics of the many sneaky street monkeys, and succeeding – often times barely – at crossing busy streets stuffed with every type of vehicle imaginable. As I settle in with my home-stay here in Jaipur, I am beginning to see some clarity in what I previously saw as pervasive chaos. Sure, the traffic seems crazy to the foreign eye – but there’s a method to it, just as there is a rhythm to the movement of every city. Movement here just seems to be a bit more…staccato than in other places