It’s day 11 of me being back in India. I’ve successfully mastered giving myself a good, thorough bucket bath without drenching the whole bathroom. I’ve added to my wardrobe so I don’t look like such a gaijin (don’t know how to say foreigner in Tamil yet, so Japanese will have to do.) I’m absolutely loving the food, one of the best parts about my culture if I do say so myself, yet I am also trying to be smart about not overindulging myself and getting sick. And I’ve lost track of the number of mosquito bites I’ve acquired.
Last night, Arun and I were discussing what makes each country desirable from a travel consultant standpoint. For example, in Europe it’s very easy to country hop and see many different cities in a short amount of time. Japan has beautiful temples and shrines that you could spend weeks visiting. As for India, it’s a completely different beast. Traveling from one city to the next can be a lengthy process which often includes a fun overnight train (watch out for the cockroaches and rats!) Also, there’s not nearly as many historical sites that are easily accessible. So what makes India so incredible?
Most people would say that India is a great place to come if you are looking for some peace. Hollywood also adds to this with movies like Eat Pray Love. I know a few people who have also come here to give service while staying at an ashram. A good friend of mine also escaped to India when he was battling with some issues; I often wonder if he ever found the peace he was searching for here.
When I was here 3 years ago I went to Goa, a quaint beach town on the west coast. Goa has a fantastic beach and there are shacks all along the shore where you can enjoy delicious seafood on the sand. They also bring drinks and snacks right up to your lounge chair if you are in deep lazy-vacation mode. We also visited Kerala, a quiet town with some beautiful scenery thats known for it’s house boats that take you all along the river. We spent two days on the boat and had in-house cooks catch and prepare our meals for us. Fantastic.
So with all that I suppose it is safe to say that India is great to visit if you are looking to relax in a more exotic location. But don’t worry, there’s plenty to do if you’re looking for more, and India is filled with such beautiful customs and culture. And I did mention how amazing the food is, right?
The family that brought McDonalds to India is Hindu so you won’t find any hamburgers here, only chicken and fish (and paneer and aloo tiki as well.) But please don’t use this as a gauge for good Indian food if you visit!