Learn Hindi in One Week
At the end of Day 7 my friends wanted to go out for dinner to say goodbye, I returned with just enough time to pack and run for the train… I finally arrived in Sauraha, Nepal and have been struggling with an internet connection ever since. Sorry for the delay, but now lets take a look at how the challenge finished off.
Location: Varanasi, India
Rate: 300 Rupee/hr ($5 USD)
Total Expense: 7800 Rupee, $130 USD
Day 7 – The Finale
The end of day 6 was a little bittersweet. It was a really productive day, but my internet crashed at the end so I lost most of what I attempted to post, and then couldn’t post. Decided to get up early and post (but that didn’t work), meaning that I went into Day 7 on about 4 hours of sleep.
Went through the usual morning routine, walking past the burning ghat and seeing a few dead bodies, avoided the guy who started a conversation with “sir, today I know you buy hashish from me”, denied all boatsmen, spun out of a few handshake traps, fed my orange peels to a water buffalo and stopped to ‘baaaah’ at a goat in a sweater… Just my typical morning commute to get to Raju’s house.
At his place, we ripped off two hours in the morning and it went really well. Much of my Hindi is just rolling of my tongue now, without much thought. I’m still struggling a little bit with the comparatives ‘this languages, that language more easy is’.
After our two hours I wandered back to my place, stopping to take some photos and talking to a few of the locals on the way. The locals seem to be amazed by my Hindi but then break into this rapid fire version of what MUST be a different language!
Back at my hostel, asked if I could checkout late (as in 14 hours late) because my train was leaving at midnight… for a little fee (about 2 dollars) they agreed. Came back and finally managed to post Day 6. Studied a little bit so that I would be on the ball as I returned to class and returned I did.
Raju was of the opinion that I wouldn’t want to study so much on my last day, but I gave his head a shake (actually it’s more like a wiggle out here). So I returned at 2 and we went right through until 5. After another 3 hours of speaking pretty much only Hindi (there were a few digressions), I was feeling very confident and hoping that I could make it all the way up to Nepal without speaking any English.
As I parted with Raju he told me that he’s never had someone study 4 hours a day (in his 14 years of teaching), which I just did for a few days straight and then upped the ante to 5 hours for my finale. Funny how my opinion was that I wasn’t doing enough.
I had pocket change left really (about 7 dollars) as I finished the lesson and was hoping to not return to the bank. Raju insisted that I keep some of my money and not pay the full amount, but I refused to give in and walked out with my 7 dollars in one pocket and my ridiculous pride in the other.
I went to go meet up with Chris for a final dinner and Katrina and Nick came out as well. Nick offered to buy my dinner, which I don’t ever believe I accepted, but somehow he walked away having paid for my dinner, still have a few rupees left in my pocket.
Managed to leave the hostel around midnight and find some guy in the back alleys to show me the way to the closest rickshaw, and I made it to the train. (PS… finding a guy in a dark alley whilst wearing your bags is a fantastic way to get robbed… only try this if you’ve invested heavily into your karmic value as of late 😛 )
At the train station, a 15 minute delay turned into 30 turned into an hour turned into 4, how is it possible that fog can make every train in India late??? I mean come on… it’s a train, don’t they know where they’re going?!
HOWEVER the delay at the train station provided a great opportunity to meet some guys on their way to different parts of India. The conversation was 98% Hindi. The exceptions were just from the two guys who were dying to translate for me, they literally asked me about 15 times to ask them if I didn’t understand anything.
The Ukulele was also a big hit at the train station. As I waited for my train in the general class section, and broke out a child’s instrument, playing the beat from free falling and then positively 4th street whilst attempting to make up Hindi lyrics (Hindi rock n’ roll doesn’t really work I’ve learned) I gathered a huge crowd.
Talk about Indian men’s issues with staring and allowing no personal space… I mean granted a free concert by a guy who barely speaks Hindi and barely knows how to play the ‘honey I shrunk the kids’ version of a guitar is pretty hard to pass up… but come on!
All in all, I would say that the challenge was a great success. I’ve arrived in Nepal now and actually found a teacher of both Hindi and Nepali on my second day. However, he lives in Kathmandu, so I believe I may head my way up there soon and continue on with Hindi whilst getting started in Nepali…
Funny how things just seem to work out as soon as you commit yourself!
What lead us here?