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India Was:

By - April 13, 2011 (Updated: November 21, 2014)

This entry is part 2 of 10 in the series Incredible India.
THIS POST MAY CONTAIN COMPENSATED LINKS. FIND MORE INFO IN MY DISCLAIMER.

India was:

  • 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.
Fruit sellers and tourists on the beaches of Goa

Fruit sellers and tourists on the beaches of Goa

  • 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
Curry at Chandni Chowk

Curry at Chandni Chowk

  • 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
Laundry day on the backwaters of Kerala

Laundry day on the backwaters of Kerala

  • 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
A typical street scene in Bangalore

A typical street scene in Bangalore

  • 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
Detail of Lepakshi Temple

Detail of Lepakshi Temple

  • 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
Goan Sunset

Goan Sunset

  • 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
Andrew and our fabulous hosts in Bangalore

Andrew and our fabulous hosts in Bangalore

Many stories and photos, from our India adventure, will be coming over the next days and weeks. Stay tuned…

Read more from this series...

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Alison Cornford-Matheson
Alison Cornford-Matheson is a Canadian freelance writer and travel photographer and the founder of Cheeseweb.eu. She is the author of The Foodie Guide to Brussels: Local Tips for Restaurants, Shops, Hotels, and Activities. Alison landed in Belgium in 2005 and, over the years, has become passionate about slow and sustainable travel, in Europe and beyond. She loves to discover hidden gems - be they museums, shops, restaurants, castles, gardens or landscapes, and share them through her words and photos. She has visited 45 countries and is currently slow travelling through North America in an RV, with her husband, Andrew, and two well-travelled cats. You can also follow her work on Google+
Alison Cornford-Matheson
- 1 week ago
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