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- sitting in the back-seat of a taxi, watching mesmerized, as cars, auto-rickshaws, scooters, trucks, buses and pedestrians dodged from lane to lane without any concern of being hit.
- lounging on the floor mats of a beach café in Goa, listening to the waves and watching pasty white tourists bake in the sun, while Indians strolled the beach and took water taxis as transportation.
- witnessing the constant contrasts of excess and destitution co-existing
- being overwhelmed by brilliant rainbow colours – in the clothing, buildings, flowers, foods
- waking to the sounds of chanting from the temple down the street, celebrating a festival for the entire week we were in Bangalore
- eating some of the most incredible food I’ve ever had, and having to pass it up for close to a week, while my body belligerently came to terms with my new diet
- being draped in stunning saris, beside a wall of the most beautiful fabrics I have ever seen
- being hounded to buy drums, carvings, fruit, sunglasses, watches, clothes or to just give money because my whiteness labelled me as ‘rich’
- watching the backwaters of Kerala slip silently by, while relaxing on a traditional houseboat
- drinking litres of the horrible ‘Electrol’ rehydration drink and forcing Andrew to do the same, in the hope we could conquer whatever bug was making us so sick.
- being constantly assaulted by smells and sounds – both delightful and nauseating
- watching thousands of flying foxes take to the sky, in a black vibrating cloud, in search of their evening meal
- seeing every fruit and vegetable I can think of, and many I’ve never seen before, being sold on every street corner
- being one of the tallest women dancing ’til dawn, in a packed club in Goa, something that has never happened to my 5’3” self
- becoming completely blasé, within a day, to cows wandering on the roadside, sidewalk, highway or even in standing in storefronts
- screaming and dancing with crazed fans as India won the World Cup of Cricket
- wandering through timeless temples and being blessed in the same way the faithful have been blessed for centuries
- breaking down in a shopping mall and feeling like a failed Western tourist, after eating at Subway, because my body couldn’t tolerate the curries I wanted to eat
- giving up on plans I was so excited about because I knew our bodies just couldn’t keep up with the pace of our travels
- racing to catch flights and rescheduling travel at the last minute because of delayed trains that turned out not to be delayed at all
- being rewarded with an upgrade to the most fantastic room I’ve ever stayed in, with our own private pool
- watching the sun slip silently into the sea with a drink in my hand and a smile on my face
- being immersed in the unending gracious hospitality of our dear friends, while also being catered to by their neighbours and total strangers
- surrendering all control and letting events unfold before me
- knowing there is no way I’ll ever be able to sum up all I have experienced over the last two weeks
Many stories and photos, from our India adventure, will be coming over the next days and weeks. Stay tuned…
Series: Incredible India
- India – A story of Obsession and Fear
- India Was:
- Incredible India
- Surrendering to India – Lesson One
- Bangalore – India’s Green and Modern Travel Destination
- Goa, India – A Relaxing Beach Vacation
- Reaching Nirvana at the Vivanta by Taj, Kumarakom, Kerala
- Veerabhadra temple, Lepakshi and Bhoganandishwara temple, Nandi Hills, India – A Photo Essay
- Exploring the Kerala Backwaters by Kettuvallam Houseboat
- Travel from Belgium to India – It’s Easier than you Think