India for Beginners


Some where over the middle of the Indian Ocean, I thought I was going to die. Our plane hit some horrible turbulence, to the point where the Captain asked the flight attendants to stop serving food/drinks for the duration of the flight. Fortunately, I was sufficiently exhausted and doped up on sleeping medication so while I do remember being on a roller coaster of a flight, I also recall thinking, “Well, if I am going to die now, there is not much I can do about it so I may as well go back to sleep.” I also remember the calm of all the other passengers, a similar resignation to our fate. I have been on other flights with less turbulence where passengers were audibly fearful and yet no one uttered a peep on this flight. That having been said, I feel almost fortunate to have been acclimated to India this way, because by the time I got into the taxi for my 4 hour ride to Mysore, I was immune to the multitude of near death experiences we encountered along the way. In fact, I am pretty sure most travelers to India have a “near death” experience at some point during their stay; whether it's a harrowing trip through traffic or the common traveller's diarrhea… somewhere, someway, you will think that the cause of death listed on your death certificate says: India.

And yet, you still love India and all it's sights and sounds for what it is, an experience that makes you appreciate the wonder of the world while at the same time makes you feel fortunate for what you have back home:

1) Clean air, because people are burning garbage or there is a major construction project that just crops up near your house one afternoon.

2) Reliably clean water – So you need to have bottled water (or coconut water) only… ALWAYS. Even accidentally using the tap water to brush your teeth has caused people some serious intestinal issues. So far I have been lucky, but I feel like I am always waiting for it to happen…

The tools of the trade at the Coconut Stand

3) Silence – ferrel dogs barking/fighting, the constant noise or traffic (horns are used instead of traffic laws) and of course the school's marching band that plays every morning across the street from my apartment.
But then there are things you wouldn't ever see at home, like cows and goats just wandering the streets

Not sure if I want to take my scooter or my cow into work today...

Mooooooo-ve over!

A walk to the ATM and I encounter the Billy Goats Gruff

And of course, in case we forget how toilets work…
But these are all just first impressions and honestly, after a week, this place already has special spot in my heart and I love it… ALL of it 🙂



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