Getting Lost in London and Jet-setting to Oktoberfest; Such is Life in Europe!

Ruby Devine

I first arrived in London on Monday September 14th.  As I write this I have only been in Europe for a little over two weeks now. I arrived at Heathrow Airport, which is about an hour ride into the city centre of London.  September 14th was also the day of King’s College orientation, so I got an uber ride to my housing that is located in South London in Elephant & Castle. I dropped my bags off and then hopped onto the tube to get to orientation. The first day and into week was especially tough because I had not figured out an international cell phone option so I did not have any internet to help me if I was ever lost in the city. The orientation was all study abroad students, and the entire auditorium was packed! One of the speakers asked which country we all came from and lots of us were Americans. Orientation was somewhat helpful, but I was so tired from traveling and could barely keep my eyes open! All I wanted to do was go to sleep, but I still needed blankets and sheets for my bed unfortunately. This was another adventure in of itself, I had researched and found a T.K. Maxx (UK’s version of T.J. Maxx) location and traveled there by bus, however this one unfortunately did not sell any home goods. So I took to the streets and wondered for a good thirty minutes until I located an Argos, which sells extremely cheap home goods. Sheets and blankets in tow I planned to hope on the next bus I saw, but there did not seem to be any stops in this area of London. It was nighttime and I started to get worried, but I asked a nice man on the street, who led me to a tube station and back home. So ended my eventful first day in London!

Day Two was quite rainy and gross in London, but Ali (other UB Law student attending King’s) and I went to Buckingham Palace. The Palace was beautiful and grand, I especially enjoyed the audio listening tour, because I was able to learn much more about the Palace and its creation. Then we went to Covent Garden which is an open-air market and had dinner. Since Covent Garden is so close to some London theatres local artists come and perform for tips. While we sat and ate we got to watch a lively four-member band and two opera singers. I love all the open markets that London has to offer and I hope to explore them all. The rest of the week consisted of getting my room set up and meeting my six flatmates! Other than myself, there is a German, two Singaporeans, two French, and another American. I look forward to getting to know them all better and their various backgrounds.


My first week in London was topped off by traveling to Munich, Germany for the opening ceremony of the Oktoberfest festival! Ali and I booked a place to stay with a welcoming German lady named Judith. Her place was only five minutes walk to the festival grounds and it was very cheap. Munich is a charming city with lots of fun activities to do. Friday when we arrived, we checked in with Judith then set out to explore the city. We had lunch at an authentic German restaurant (and arguably ordered too much). Also there just so happened to be another fellow UB law student in town for the Oktoberfest as well, so we were able to spend time with him and his travel group. We all wanted to be in the tent, which the mayor of Munich comes and taps the first ceremonial keg of Oktoberfest. All the locals told us that we should arrive very early in order to ensure we got into one of the awesome beer tents, as they fill up quickly!


Oktoberfest is so exciting, everyone wears the traditional outfits, for men it’s the Lederhosen, and women wear the Dirndl. If I could change one thing, it would be that we had the appropriate attire. We were a bit tired so we actually did not arrive until 8:45 am, but we were extremely lucky because they opened a side door that we happened to be standing near! Once we were in the tent and had a seat, there was a lot of waiting as they do not start serving beer until noon. But once they do, the tent is filled with singing, laughter, and lots of beer glasses clinking! Above is a picture of right after we were served our first beers. It was such a fun experience and I hope I get to return one day.

Oktoberfest View

Ruby Devine is a 3L student at the University of Baltimore School of Law. Stay tuned as she details her London life and Euro travels as she is studying abroad this Fall semester.

No Place Like London

Ali Rickart

This semester, I am spending my time studying abroad at King’s College London in London, England. It’s ranked in the top twenty universities in the world, so it is an honor and a privilege I get to spend my time studying here! I arrived in London on September 8, a week before I could move into the residence halls. I stayed at a local hotel, which gave me a chance to become familiar with the Tube – the underground subway system and figure out where everything was located! Naturally, I checked out a few pubs too, they are the way to a Londoner’s heart!

During my early visit to London I was able to explore the Kensington Gardens and tour the Kensington Palace, which I highly recommend! It boasts being the residence of the current Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince William and Kate Middleton, but also housed Princess Diana, Queen Victoria, and many more. You can tour the old apartment of Queen Mary II and the separate and much more lavish apartment of King William III.  If nothing else, the elaborate rooms and painted ceilings in the King’s apartment make the trip more than worth the price of admission. They also have other exhibits, which included “Victoria Revealed” a look at the life of Queen Victoria and her beloved Prince Albert (more on this later) as well as “Fashion Rules” which was a collection of gowns and dresses worn by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, Diana, Princess of Wales, and Princess Margaret.


A walk through the gardens into Hyde Park will take you to the magnificent Prince Albert Memorial, erected by Queen Victoria after her husband passed away. The statute is quite tall and has ornate carvings surrounding its base. It is located directly across from Royal Albert Hall – a famous music and entertainment venue. There is also a magnificent area called the Italian Gardens, created by Prince Albert to show his love to Queen Victoria. I like to go here and read and enjoy the wonderful weather we’ve been having, which I’m told is very uncharacteristic of London! Due to this fabulous weather, I’ve spent a lot of my time wandering around to different famous sights, such as Big Ben, the London Eye, Westminster Abbey, St. Paul’s Cathedral, the Globe Theater, etc. I’ve toured Buckingham Palace, which you aren’t allowed to take photos in but the amount of velvet and silk walls and gilded objects makes you swoon! Also, I spent a rainy afternoon in the British Museum, which I was in for over two hours and only probably covered 1/3 of it. Sometimes the best things you find are the ones you just stumble upon, like the St. Bride’s Church which had an entire museum in its catacombs that dated back to the Ancient Roman times! Also, its steeple is what gave a baker the idea for a layered wedding cake! It’s located on Fleet Street, renowned for the story of Sweeney Todd, which gave inspiration to the title of this blog.

London Memorial

Sadly, reality hit when Orientation began, as I had to figure out how to find the buildings (the abbreviations on schedules don’t always match the building names) and figure out what floor (they have negative floors here!).  Orientation wasn’t as helpful as hoped, we mostly were told how to use the Tube (which most had to figure out to make it to orientation), how not to plagiarize, and to not to worry that most of us didn’t have our schedules yet (it was less than a week until our first class).  I was surprised to find that the majority of the students for study abroad (at least in the non-European section) were from America, Singapore, and China. The Americans were specifically from mainly New York and California. We learned that those of us only here for a semester would not have to take the exams as they are given in June (yes!) but would have to write an essay for grades.

London Skyline

Disorganization aside, it has been a great first week of classes! I’m enrolled in Company Law, Labour Law, Family Law, and Russian Legal Studies. An eclectic mix that is sure to provide me with some interesting essay topics come end of semester. As far as traveling goes, I’ve already had the pleasure of traveling to Munich, Germany to attend the famous Oktoberfest and have plans to travel to Italy, Scotland, Paris, and Ireland before the end of the year!

Ali Rickart is a 3L student at the University of Baltimore School of Law, spending her Fall semester at King’s College London. She is a Student Fellow with the Center for International and Comparative Law, with her work with Track Impunity Always highlighted in a Daily Record article earlier this year. Stay tuned as she chronicles her time in London this semester.

Windmills, Bicycles, and Stroopwafels – A Semester in the Netherlands

Tim Jarman

After leaving the United States, I arrived in the Netherlands Wednesday, the 27th of August.  The University had scheduled several bus pickups for international students at Schiphol airport in Amsterdam, but unfortunately I arrived on a day in which they did not conduct them.   After arriving in Rotterdam, I promptly checked into my accommodations at the Student Hotel in Rotterdam.  The Student Hotel is a very nice dormitory-styled hotel that accommodates roughly eighty percent of its guests as students during the semester, but still operates as a hotel.  It was designed with several common areas for students to study, relax, and workout.  My stay would also include a bicycle which would come in handy as the Dutch are very well known for using bicycles as their primary form of transportation in and around town.  After checking in, I headed to the local immigration office to begin the process of receiving my Visa identification card.  The rest of my day was spent learning where specific sites, such as the university and grocery store, were located and ended my day very early due to fatigue because of the time difference.


The next day involved getting used to my bicycle and traveling around town, exploring the beautiful port city with its modern architecture, which still maintains a classic European touch.  In the afternoon, there was an indoctrination meeting for all International Law students at Erasmus.  It was here that I learned how large the international program at Erasmus University is as there was an auditorium full of students.  Quickly I found out I was one of the few Americans, if not only American in the program.  Student organizations and professors talked to us about helping with acclimating to Dutch life and the student body at Erasmus.  The International Office for students also organized us all into teams to conduct a game of trivia, testing our knowledge of European law and the Dutch culture.  My team was made up of myself and two Australians.  Unfortunately, with no European national on our team, we did not win the prized Stroopwafels, a traditional Dutch treat made of caramel sandwiched between two thin waffles. After this, the International office invited us to a reception to get to know more of our fellow students over dinner and drinks.  It was here that I met friends from over fifteen different countries and learned that students had come from all over the globe, spanning from the Americas to Australia.


After the weekend was the first day of school.  I registered for a Research and Writing Skills workshop based on Maritime and Transport Law.  While nervous about the difference in teaching style and being able to understand my professor, I discovered that the teacher for the class was very proficient in English.  He was very helpful and informative, which comforted my nervousness about taking courses here.  It was also in this classroom that I began to meet Dutch law students, as up to that point, my time had been mostly spent with other internationals.  Class ended early as it was primarily an introduction class, and I attended the “Welcome Back” or “Heartbeat” festival held by the school where there were several traditional Dutch food and beer trucks, as well as performances by student groups and live music.   On my second day of class, I learned more about Maritime and Transport Law in a classroom of roughly twenty five students in a smaller workgroup/class setting.  I also learned that my Bluebook may not come in handy and that I will have to learn how to use the OSCOLA citing system for my papers.


I am extremely excited for this semester which is split into two eight week semesters.  Student groups have organized student trips, with one coming up in a few weeks to experience traditional Dutch culture.  There may also be trips to Oktoberfest in Germany and hopefully some trips to international courts in The Hague in the Netherlands and Brussels in Belgium.  I am also looking forward to testing my skills in soccer or voetball, as some of the International students are putting together a team.  I also look forward to getting to know more students at the International Student “Speed Dating” event next week, designed to meet more International Students in a Speed Dating setup.  There is also an Official Welcoming Ceremony on the 10th of September that will include speeches and traditional Dutch culture, such as food and dances.  This definitely feels like it will be an extremely positive experience, and I cannot wait to provide an update mid-semester.

Tim Jarman is a 3L at the University of Baltimore School of Law. He is spending the Fall 2015 semester at Erasmus University School of Law, which is a member of the European American Consortium for Legal Education (EACLE). This post is the first in a series of three, which will chronicle his time spent in the Netherlands and his inevitable travels throughout Europe.

Far Out in the Far East

Christian Noble


A view of Yokohama from the Landmark Tower

こんにちは!  <- that means “Hello” in Japanese!  I was fortunate enough to spend the summer between my 2L and 3L year    studying abroad in Tokyo, Japan.  For the first month, I studied the Japanese legal system and International Business Transactions.  For the second month, I worked at Nakamura & Partners, a Japanese IP firm in downtown Tokyo.


Ueno Park – One of many parks in Tokyo

Having studied Japanese in undergrad, I had a pretty good grasp on phrases, sentence structure, and generally surviving.  Unfortunately, having not used my language skills in a few years had made me a little rusty, but staff at hotels and airports are generally bilingual in Japanese and English.  During the shuttle ride and upon arriving at the hotel, the first thing I noticed is that everything in Tokyo is small and often a little cramped (a fact that would come to haunt me later as I am relegated to a small out of the way area for people with big feet in a massive shoe store).

The professors taught class in the hotel, so commuting was never an issue.  Our instructors were all very knowledgeable international scholars.  Professor Taniguchi was a member of the Appellate Body of the World Trade Organization Dispute Settlement Body.  Professor Matsushita is an expert in competition law and international economic law.  Professor Abe was an expert in comparative law at Seikei University and accompanied us on our various trips to government institutions.


The Japanese Diet

Our professors consistently stressed the importance of exploring Japan and appreciating the culture.  In addition to in class work, we travelled to major government institutions, includingthe Japanese Diet (Legislature), the Japanese Patent Office, and the Japanese Supreme Court.  But educational field trips were not our only chance to explore Tokyo.  Classes ended fairly early in the day, so we were free to sightsee.  In the short month during classes, we went everywhere.  The famous Tsukiji Fish Market, Sensoji Temple, and Yomiuri Giants games are only a few examples of our group exploration.

About half way through classes, the second class began.  This class was entirely optional, of which I did not participate, leaving me ample time to explore on my own.  My strategy consisted of choosing a random Tokyo neighborhood in my guidebook and spending the day wandering around and crossing off sights and sounds.  Walking around, I went to Ginza and saw a Kabuki show, in Oshiage I climbed the SkyTree, and in Shibuya Idid a great deal of shopping.

At the end of the month, I began my internship with Nakamura & Partners out of the Marunouchi neighborhood in Tokyo.  Wanting to experience a different side of Tokyo, I moved out of the hotel and into a small house in the Suginami area of Tokyo, 45 minutes west of downtown Tokyo.  The house was in a residential area where I lived with Kaoru-san, a 77 year old grandmother, and her dog.

Kyoto (5)

Okochi Sanso Villa in Kyoto

Every morning Kaoru-san would make breakfast while I watched the news before my 45 minute train ride to work.  Our discussions were primarily in Japanese and were always entertaining and informative.   She makes her own plum wine and now I am too!  The only downside was Japan’s energy conservation mentality in the middle of summer often made for some hot evenings.



飲み会 (No-mi-kai) – going out after work is a very important Japanese tradition. This is me with my boss Okumura-sensei and a fellow co-worker.

As an intern for Nakamura & Partners, I did a great deal of contract work and legal research.  The clients I worked for were major corporations, many in America, so the primary correspondence was in English (a saving grace for my limited Japanese!).  My boss, Naoki Okumura, was extremely helpful.  Having earned his LLM from Duke Law School and passed the New York State Bar, Okumura-sensei was well versed with North Carolina and major cities along the east coast.

Going to lunch with partners and associates everyday was an extremely valuable insight into the everyday goings on within a Japanese law firm as well as a food adventure.  Indian, Thai, Chinese, it was different every day and this was only a sampling of the eateries in our office building.  It was the best intern experience I have ever had.

I would like to give special thanks to the program directors, Philip Jimenez and Marcus Kosins.  Both of whom contributed immensely to the excellent experience.  Overall, it was the best two months of my law school experience and I cannot wait to visit all the friends I made in my very short time in Tokyo.


Christian Noble is a third year student at the University of Baltimore School of Law, planning to graduate in May 2015 with a J.D. and a concentration in International Law.  He graduated from the Penn State University in June of 2008 with a Bachelors of the Arts in International Politics with a minor in Sociology.  He has also studied Japanese and Korean language. Previously, Christian studied abroad in Curaçao during the winter of his second year, taking classes in International Law and European Union Law.  Currently, Christian serves as a CICL Student Fellow, the Emerging Issues Editor for the Journal of International Law, Vice President of the Immigration Law Association, Treasurer of the Latin American Law Student Association, Treasurer of OutLaw, and is 3L Representative of the International Law Society. Christian is also a Maryland Rule 16 Student Attorney with the Immigrant Rights Clinic at UB.

Fantastico! An Unforgettable Experience!

Ilaria Ballabeni


Hi folks! My name is Ilaria Ballabeni and I am an exchange student from the sister University of Parma, Italy. I am a part of the EACLE partnership and I am spending five months in Baltimore attending classes at the Law School and conducting research about bankruptcy crimes for my Italian dissertation.


Myself and fellow Parma student Elisa Iacovino with Professor Sellers and Parma professor, Cesare Pitea

I arrived in Baltimore at the beginning of January and, despite the terribly cold weather, I was welcomed very warmly by a lot of people. My benchmark is Professor Sellers (the contact person for the exchange program).  And indeed, he has taken great care of my Italian classmate and me. He even came in person to pick us up at the airport!  During the first days, I had the chance to meet some very nice people of the staff, like Mrs. Laurie Schnitzer, Mrs. Wendy Burgess, Ms. Catherine Moore (who was also just arriving at UB), Ms. Dawn Harrell and all of the administrative personnel. Then, the semester started.

Despite the problems of facing a new (to me!) common law system (Italy is a civil law country) and a couple of headaches after a whole day speaking and listening only in English, I believe that everything went well.    Being helped by Professor Sellers, I decided to take a couple of LLM LOTUS classes (Criminal Law and Constitutional Law) and I also took a JD course, Special Topics in Applied Feminism. These classes all gave me the opportunity to meet students from all over the world, of different ages and to learn a lot from this important diversity of cultures and experiences.

I have met some great professors; all of them have been generous and sympathetic with me.  They have given me tremendous amount of help in the full comprehension of the different issues discussed in the classes.  I was really fascinated by the course Special Topics in Applied Feminism. It has allowed me to improve my knowledge of this field of the law, by analyzing it from different perspectives. But, Baltimore means more than just the School of Law. There have been some great experiences during my spare time too! I met a lot of beautiful and fun people at The Varsity (an apartment building with nothing but students) and at the Student Center. Immediate Bonding!  I am really happy about that and I hope I will have other chances to meet up with them again in the future. Who knows!

During spring break, I decided to visit New York City for the second time.  I am still amazed at its deep contradictions. Although Baltimore is not the “Big Apple”, I found some great opportunities to enjoy myself here too. Color RunIndeed, Charles Street, Fells Point, Federal Hill and the Inner Harbor are full of interesting and lively pubs, in which it is possible to meet students from the other universities here in Baltimore.

As an additional touch of color, I was part of “The Color Run”, taking   place here in Baltimore on April 19th.  It is also known as the happiest 5k, a unique paint race that celebrates healthiness, happiness and individuality.

Therefore, if I was asked to evaluate my experience in Baltimore, I would definitely say that, thanks to all these factors, it turned out to be a great experience! UNFORGETTABLE!!

Who turned the heat on?

Weather wise and work wise, everything has just been super intense lately.

First, we shall address the weather in India: It is hot, humid, and full of insects. The winter would be described as the best season ever. I now know why birds migrate. To those of you on the east coast of the US questioning the very existence of a spring and praying to see spring: I am sorry.

The weather has been consistently above 85 for the past two weeks. Why does this matter? Sonipat, has no spring; there are two seasons winter and summer. Accept it. Embrace it. Enjoy it. The winter for me was great- highs of 67 degrees and lows of 50s. Perfect weather that still prolonged the hibernation of the many insects of rural India.

Well, Old Man Winter has died and his angry son has come in and beats down upon you. He has sent in his demons and mongrels, in the form of mosquitoes, wasps, bees, and garden lizards upon the local population.

Many of my personal acquaintances acknowledge my disdain for heat. I do prefer the cold weather. I also hate insects flying around me. Sonipat knows this, and seeks to test my sanity. I am in a bitter fight to the end with nature. Modern technology can only do so much. My weapon of choice, the air conditioner, has become my best friend. The power goes out, yet the generators come to life as the Titans of the Earth and empower the campus. The AC is my lifeline. I am winning (for now) the war on heat! Hoorah!

The insects however are Sonipats’ Special Forces unit and they have found a way to evade my attempts to smash them. The insects are defending the homeland and I am the occupying force. They recognize this and seek to attack me at my home base – my room. There recently was a wasps’ nest, built on my bathroom window. After the installation of this forward base, I would encounter wasps crawling in through the windows and ceilings. The worst was when I woke up from a deep slumber, and went to relieve myself. As I opened the door, a giant wasp, hovering at about eyelevel was waiting for me. Thank God for instincts! I immediately closed the door and waited. My bladder beckoned and I armed myself with two size 11 Nike running shoes. I entered the bathroom with one shoe in each hand. After a short tussle, I smacked the wasp to the floor, and finished him off with a crunch.

It is not over- Ants!! This infantry of insects is always present, constantly pushing forward with no understanding of pain, or rejection. Ants are everywhere in the bathroom coming from the base of the toilet, they clamber up in search of sugar and food. The second occupying force resides in the crack of the walls, in the bathroom. At night, they launch a routine raiding party, seeking to take my resources. Nevertheless, they are unfulfilled and often end up dying after being stuck in soap.

The insects even took to attacking in class. To the dismay of other students and myself, wasps are often found bouncing off of the windows with such a large thump and a distinctive hum that it makes the hairs on your neck cringe. I am not alone in this war on the yellow monstrosities. Many people swat and dodge the six-legged dragons and ultimately they fly away erratically.

The university recognizes the war, and sends in a specialist. The specialist, is an exterminator who uses insecticide, as if it were holy water and he is the Pope. He will bless any spot that even looks as if would be a threat. He kills indiscriminately – wasps, flies, mosquitoes, bees, and anything else. Mercy is not in his repertoire. He is the walking death. Insects flee in his path and die in his wake. He will come and create a nuclear desert in your room. All you have to do is sign on the dotted line, verifying his presence.

Then, just like that, the war is over, and the insects have been slaughtered at least for a short time period.


I went to sleep one night, excited to wake up and attend classes. During the night, the bugs launched one last offensive tactic in an attempt to force me to surrender. I woke up and went to breakfast, returned to my room and showered. As I was bathing, I noticed that my foot felt very abrasive. A quick inspection revealed that I had been bitten multiple times on my leg and foot?.

Unsure of the exact cause and assuming it was the result of mosquitoes, I ignored the bumps.  But they started to spread over my body. I thought to myself, “Is it a new form of chicken pox? Could it be some farm disease?” At last I realized that it was the last insurgency of the insect horde – bedbugs. Seeking a final blow, I promptly went to the medical center, to get some anti-itch cream. I returned and informed the warden of the problem.

My warden had a concerned look after seeing the vicious and deceitful attack on my limb while I slept. The insects had violated the last code of honor in this war. The warden immediately picked up the phone, and made a call. He informed me that within the hour the problem would be solved. The exterminator has been called in for a special mission.

Thirty minutes later a knock on the door produced a new mattress. There is still one problem: We have destroyed the last insect base, but the guerrillas remain. The exterminator arrives, and applies the most liberal application of pesticide I have ever witnessed throughout the room. I know nothing will survive. After the first visit, there were dozens of dead mosquitoes and a few wasps. Now I know there will be no future for these insects.

The exterminator applies insecticide directly to the bedframe.  Then does the room once more, as if to find any stragglers and put them out of their misery. The fallout is so strong that he advises me to leave my room for a couple of hours then return. I come back and see no more signs of the living, just the carcasses of the 6-legged damned.

This was just the first phase. My classmates have informed me that the weather in Sonipat can rise to be 120 degrees. I am not pleased with the forecast of the future. I realize that this heat will be a struggle; I accept this challenge and wait silently as the days get longer and hotter.

My classmates have also informed me that the insects by the end of May will be huge. Huge as in mosquitoes the size of quarters! This genuinely worries me. I fear the future. I know an arms race is imminent. As such, I have to seek funds to purchase a flamethrower to suppress the future insect insurrection.  Donations are kindly accepted. Please use PayPal. Just kidding!

Without all the exaggeration, the last few weeks weather wise have been a big change, concerning the heat and humidity. The university however, is prepared with air conditioners on stand-by and merciless exterminators. The best part of the weather is the sky. At least the sky is usually clear with a few clouds and a beaming sun.

No Country for Old (Wo)Men

A few Sundays back I decided to go to Delhi. I decided I had enough of being pampered and taking a taxi everywhere, and I was anxious to explore.  I talked to one of my friends here, Karthik, (more about him later) he cautioned against it. But he knew that I wanted to explore and understand the metro system. So after some persistence and convincing, he relented.

A little background: because I am a creature of habit, I wanted peanut butter and a few things for my dorm. Sonipat is a small town by Indian standards, and they don’t have the international delights that a foreigner (Hindi :vi-day-sheee) such as myself would need so a trip to Delhi was warranted. A list was made and the time was planned.

The car that we hired dropped us off at the nearest metro station: Jahangirpuri. The Delhi metro was intense due to a few factors: the extremely large population, the complication of the metro routes, the bureaucracy that exists to enter and exit the metro, and finally the fact that I was completely unfamiliar with the system. So it began!

First, we got out of the car, walked to the elevator. Unlike the DC metro system where people move to the right to stand on the escalator?, everybody stands in the middle of the steps. After this we arrived at the top entrance to the platforms.

The platform entrance has an x-ray machine for baggage and metal detectors so the police can make sure you are not carrying any weapons. After passing through the weapons check, we got our metro card, similar to a Smartrip card.

I need to get a Delhi smart trip card no problem, let us wait inline. As we are waiting in line, the metro station is packed, and people are going all around. Karthik tells me that Sunday is the day where most people don’t travel. I make a mental note not to travel the metro during rush hour. A woman tries to cut the line and walks to the front. A middle-aged man taps her on the arm and asks her what she is doing. An argument ensues. The man basically asks if just because she is a woman she doesn’t have to wait in line? She gives a look of contempt, shakes her head, and then concedes and submitting defeat, and proceeds to the back of the line.  This little verbal altercation does not even surprise or stir the heads of anyone else; it’s too crowded for anyone to care.

Karthik and I are two customers away from getting to the counter. I lean forward using Karthik’s back as a shield,, I open my wallet to get the 300 rupees required for the metro card.  The man whose constant pushing I’ve ignored for the past 8 minutes has now made a inexcusable intrusion into my personal space.

The man has come from behind me and stuck his head between Karthik’s shoulder and my body. He was practically laying his head on my chest. My personal alarms go off, I believe he is preparing to grab my wallet and run. I realize that I’d have to give chase and the scenario flashes before my eyes. I yell in English, What the $$$&! (Get creative)” He realizes that he has made an error and stares at me in shock. I roll my eyes and turn to get the required amount from my wallet. Karthik inquires as to what happened. I explain it to him, and he says that was definitely not excusable even for Indian standards, but it’s likely that he was just curious. Good. Crisis averted, and I didn’t overreact.

We go up to the platform, and allowed the train to arrive before we moved into the middle of the car and secured two seats. The Metro cars are really wide compared to the D.C. and Baltimore subway. The metro was also very clean. There were designated seats for women, elderly, and physically challenged persons. The first car of every metro train is designated for women.  This is due to sexual harassment on the metro train. Indian Society is very much a patriarchal society and this presents a variety of challenges for the modern Indian woman. (More about this later).

The train gets progressively more crowded, at one point, people are leaning over top of each other, and sometimes people sit on each other’s laps just to make space for others. It’s actually very interesting to witness.  The entire trip is planned to take about 45 minutes of riding on the metro.

At a major transfer point: Kashmere Gate. Two Nigerian men get on, they immediately notice, that I’m not Indian, and ask where I’m from. I tell them that I’m an American, we make small talk and then return to our respective conversations.  10 minutes later one of the men get off the train, with a large majority of the crowd. The Nigerian guy sits down and starts probing for information, at this point I recognize it, and start creating a false story about being in town only for the week and sightseeing. I inquire as to which stop he is making sure to have him commit to a plan. Then say we are going to a different stop. Next, the man invites us to church with him, stating it’s Sunday and other reasons for us to go with him, even saying he could be our tour guide. I laughingly tell him I don’t want to go to church. That I didn’t come all the way to India to spend my day in church.  He relents his campaign of persuasion and we get off two stops later. Karthik and I loop back so that we are not followed and get off at our appropriate destination.

We have lunch in a mall food court. KFC is an idolized fast food place here. Then Karthik goes to run errands, and I decided to explore the area a little bit, and go to a market and get a few things such as a second power converter.

Next stop Khan Market. We take the metro again, this time uneventfully to Khan Market. Khan market is the richest part of Delhi. After coming out of the metro and walk about a quarter of a mile you arrive at a shopping center filled with western stores. Adidas stores, Nike stores, and a variety of small food markets that have western brands.

Khan Market was super westernized. The area was completely westernized; I saw a variety of luxury cars, Mercedes-Benz, Land-Rover, and even a jaguar.  The area was so westernized, a woman of European descent, I have no idea where from where, even clutched her purse as I walked by. I was surprised and instantly felt like I was home in the states. How nostalgic, the smell of old school prejudice, that pervades even across continents, oceans and borders.

We walk upon a shop that looks rather clean, so we enter. I look around and gather what I need: peanut butter, bread, honey and what I don’t need: candy.  The entire time one of the shopkeepers is following me around, this store, which is no bigger than the aisle, of the cereal section in Safeway. My initial reaction was one of annoyance. I thought this must be a thing like in the states when store employees follow a person of color around the store. But then I realized that here in India this is just good customer service. He was waiting on me, ready to answer my questions and have the items I selected brought to the register. I was relieved and in a better mood.

The next goal was to get protein powder. I walked into a small health shop and selected a small box of whey protein powder for about 12 USD. The service was quick and efficient. Naturally, the shop attendant tried to sell me the largest box of protein powder available, but I made it clear I wasn’t spending 80 USD for that.

Karthik and I wandered towards the metro station, we then stopped at a bookstore where Karthik obtained a cookbook, and I bought a men’s health magazine for about 1.50. The magazines in India or very reasonably priced. (Reasonable prices is code for cheap).

Finally, we get on the metro, the ride back is peaceful as we watch the sun setting over the city. Delhi is huge.  During a few crowded areas, we witness a race from the doors to the seats of the metro cars. The excitement isn’t over yet.

Two old men with Islamic head coverings, have come to an impasse, about who is going to occupy a single seat that is two seats to my left. One of them points to the seat and say something I obviously can’t understand. The shorter man replies, tersely. The taller man raises his left hand and says something in response. The shorter man then opens his palm and smacks the taller man’s hand out of the way and takes the seat, with a smirk on his face. The taller man looks with contempt but gives up and concedes to stand for the remainder of the ride.

Finally we are off of the metro station and are back at Jahangirpuri. The amount of people trying to the exit the train is unreal. We literally wait in a crowd to exit the station through the gates for minutes. People are yelling and some young men who are tired of waiting then begin running and jumping the gates, police officers stop and grab who they can, but there are simply too many.  The crowd gets increasingly restless.  I speculate a riot is near with all the excitement in the air. The noise gets louder and so more people yell. Little old ladies are pushing and jostling for position.  Then it happens.

The gates start working. The people are quiet and the pressure subsides. No riot is going to happen today. I am severely disappointed.  As I walk out of the gate, an old lady who has wedged herself between Karthik and I pushes past me.  I think nothing of it. Karthik later tells me that this is a place where chivalry isn’t dead it just doesn’t count on the metro.

The driver of the taxi picks us up and takes us back to campus, I arrive safely with my treasures from today’s adventure.