To Hampi I went by myself as Anil had to stay in Hyderabad to take care of some family business. It was my first solo travel in non-Western country and I was a bit anxious about it especially that I first had to travel alone on an overnight train and then find a way to get to Hampi from the train station (at 5 am, 13km).
As my train started to approach Hampi, I realized that there were two other Western women that were going there as well. I followed them out of the train and asked if they would have minded if I had caught a rickshaw ride with them. They kindly agreed to that and we had a such lovely conversation during the half an hour ride, that we ended up staying at the same hotel and sightseeing together for the next two days.
The older of my female companions was a fifty-year old Canadian woman called Nancy, who just few months earlier moved to Hyderabad. The younger one was a twentysomething British girl called Naomi. She was on holidays in India visiting Nancy. The two of them met on Borneo, where they had both lived with their families a few years earlier.
As I learned, Nancy's husband is working for an educational charity and every few years they are moving to the new place in the world, so that he can start a new project there. I guess this is what made Nancy a such incredibly warm and caring person. Or maybe she has always been like that :)
I was totally impressed with her and the way she was treating all people she met on her way. She would always talk politely with everybody, offer them help, her shoulder, her kind words, a compassion, and sometimes a laugh. She would not hesitate to put her arm around any random stranger met on the street, no matter how clean or dirty their clothes were.
I wish I were as brave as she is. I feel like I have the same level of compassion she has, but what I am missing is assertiveness. I will try to work on that.
Here is Nancy having a warm whole-hearted conversation with one of older women we met in Hampi: