Everything is Harder Here

Everything is harder here.

I’m tired, can I please just~


Go to one store for everything

  • But, it is so overcrowded. And overstaffed. And promotional. And hectic. And far.

Buy what I want for the new apartment

  • But, do they even sell that here? I haven’t seen a fitted sheet.

Get a fair price

  • But how much higher will my “foreigner’s” charge be? Is haggling worth it?

Eat when I’m hungry

  • But, I don’t want to revisit the hospital with a stomach infection. Takes too much time.

Drink tap water

  • But, that’s beyond hazardous. I must find a bottle. And throw it away. And cringe at the waste.

Recycle this

  • But there’s no receptacle. And I am so, so thirsty. It’s either me or Mother Nature, right?

Avoid the beggars

  • But they reach in the auto, sometimes slapping my forehead with their empty hands.

Stop the incessant honking

  • But I really need to get to work, everyone. So please, step out of my driver’s way.

Separate work and home

  • But my co-workers message me at night. Deadlines and conversations don’t sleep.

Smell fresh air

  • But that open sewage wins the battle.

Find space

  • But elbows and motorbikes feel the same way.

Go unnoticed

  • But if I cover my head and look down, it helps. Fewer comments.


But really,

  • Because everything is harder here, I don’t~


Go to one store to get everything

  • Because, I go to the market stalls. Wallas know their products. And their customers.

Buy what I want for the new apartment

  • Because, I buy just what I need. Mostly. And some pretty bed sheets.

Get a fair price

  • Because foreignness looks like money, as travel is expensive. So I pay a bit more. Seems fair.

Eat when I’m hungry

  • Because there are too many choices. And friends to wait on.

Drink tap water,

  • Because almost no one in Delhi can do so safely. And that’s the bigger issue.

Recycle this

  • Because people will sort the trash long after I’m gone. Adding containers won’t help. Might hurt.

Avoid the beggars

  • Because they are motivated. So the motivation becomes my focus.

Stop the incessant honking

  • Come on. That’s impossible.

Separate work and home

  • Because my office door is not a magic portal that causes our work to stop mattering.

Smell fresh air

  • Because those roasting onions, garlic and chilies are so distracting.

Find space

  • Because, evidently, there are a lot of us on this planet. And some people have grown accustomed.

Go unnoticed

  • Because I am a Fellow, purposely placed out of context and in the thick of what I love.



From our peaceful terrace.
our peaceful terrace

While pursuing her degree in journalism, Amy spent summers as an intern and contractor at the National Geographic Society in Washington, D.C. and New York. She concentrated on copy editing for travel books and then photo editing for Adventure Magazine before graduating from UNC-Chapel Hill with a focus in Photojournalism and a minor in French. She "briefly" returned to her hometown in the Great Smoky Mountains for a summer as a whitewater raft guide, whereupon she took a grant-funded position as a coordinator for special victims in the District Attorney's Office. Amy came to love the unique dynamics of these challenging cases and enjoyed coordinating multi-agency collaboration and policy review, while supporting victims in crisis. Amy and her colleagues secured funding from the Department of Justice for a domestic and sexual violence unit for an additional seven years, which is still in place. She brings a passion for under-served populations and aims to facilitate their passage through complex systems during difficult circumstances.

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7 thoughts on “Everything is Harder Here

  1. Beautifully profound! You ARE my hero. I love you. Keep writing and photographing …journalism is very real. You are our lens and great at it. We’re with you every day. Love, d

  2. All in all, I am really happy here in Delhi. However, I’ve had plenty of opportunities to say, “why must it be so complicated?” Of course, these occur more often when I’m tired or sick. But I’m now healthy, happy and well-housed. I think it’s important to voice frustrations, but I wouldn’t even consider giving up this opportunity. I hope fellow travelers can sympathize with these thoughts!

  3. I’m really enjoying and learning from your blog comments, Amy. You’re a wonderful writer and you bring your daily experiences in India to life with all the noises, smells, sights, insights and feelings that dog/inspire you. Glad you’re feeling better. Keep up your good work. Can’t wait for future blogs!

  4. Avoiding beggers. Motivation of child beggers is usually an adult just out of sight that they have to give all the money to before being taken back to the place where they are kept. Don’t talk about the disfigured and disabled ones.

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