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India Part 1 – I’m Getting Too Old For This

By on Jul 12, 2013 in India | 0 comments

As I laid in a gurney in Kuala Lumpur Airport’s emergency medical clinic shivering with intense rigors and screaming out in pain as a nurse dishonourably stabbed a needle into my bum cheek, I started to question why I went to India and for the first time in my life, I asked myself if I was getting too old for this shit? I asked myself if backpacking on small amounts of cash to some of the most deprived places in the world is all that it’s cracked up to be? Did it make a difference to the places I was visiting or was it just another passport stamp to me? It was also the first time that I made the realisation that I’m not Superman and that under the right (or wrong) situation, anyone can quickly fall incredibly ill. All these thoughts ran on repeat as Niki and I were raced across the tarmac in an ambulance heading for some major hospital in KL. Looking back it had been one of those days, in fact it had been one of those months and this is where this blog series starts. I had arrived into India just over three weeks before hand, in what now seems like an eternity ago with such high expectations. To me, India was going to represent a pinnacle of my travels and a place where culture and spirituality cataclysmically collided in a sensory overload. I held other travellers who had visited India as legendary in my eyes. You know the type: the old school type of travellers who had waist long dreadlocks, should have been born in the 60’s and took everything in their stride. This, along with the enticing heritage link that Niki’s Indian born Grandparents had with the continent, would make for a tantalizing travel adventure. However as my second day in Mumbai was coming to an end with us bee lining for a hurriedly booked “get me out of here” flight to Delhi and me throwing my money across the counter at an irate Indian hotel manager who had overcharged me for a whole lot of extras I never used, I started to wonder where the India portrayed in old travel literature and coffee table photos books had gone? It was about this time as I jumped in the taxi as fumingly irate as the hotel manager, swearing not to look back at a city that I never saw eye to eye with, that Niki followed after me hurriedly saying “Hold up, you paid the guy in Sri Lankan Rupees”. Whoops!   Mumbai whilst architecturally stunning with The Taj Mahal Hotel and the Gateway to India to mention two particular buildings of interest, the military presence (or at least when I was there), high level of homelessness and nearby slums provided a constant reminder that this not a place to mistake for some idyllic tourist touting city. It was a hard working city in a country that whilst moving progressively forward also has many social and security issues to deal with. The nightlife which I heard great things about, I unfortunately found little of as my hotel had a curfew for security reasons. Which all just added to my sense of uneasiness in Mumbai.   Needless to say I was suffering from culture shock and more so than that, I was shocked at the level of poverty within an urban setting contrasted with extreme wealth. It just didn’t sit well with me and I wasn’t conforming to India’s organizational structure. I was arrogantly rebelling as I tried to hold on to my Westernized way of how things should be done and letting the intense pressure of a large population get to me. Escaping to Delhi, India’s second largest city, for some reason seemed like the best option to me…clearly I didn’t know what I was thinking. To be continued. This is part one of  our India Blog...

‘The Taj Mahal’. Noun. Wonder of the World

By on Apr 3, 2012 in India | 0 comments

‘Gobsmacked’. Adjective. To describe one who is taken unawares or to be astonished. The feeling you will experience when standing in the archway overlooking the inspiring Taj Mahal in India. ‘Bitch Slapped’. Adverb. To disrespectfully slap someone in the face with an open hand.  The sensation you’ll feel after you tussle through the insane throngs of people who visit the Taj Mahal every day. ‘Repetitive Strain Injury’. Noun. A condition in which the prolonged performance of repetitive actions causes pain.  The injury you will receive to your finger from clicking hundreds of photos on your camera whilst aiming to get that perfect photo. ‘Love’. Noun.  An emotion of strong affection and  attachment. The reason the Taj Mahal was built. ‘Adjective’. Noun. A word or phrase naming an attribute, added to or grammatically related to a noun to describe it. The words you will use to describe the Wonder, which none of them, not even the f-word or any OMG’s, will be enough to describe its dominance and intense beauty. ‘Delhi Belly’. Noun/Adjective. Ones ailment of diarrhea with frequent discharge of watery faeces from the intestines. The reason you’ll leave the Taj Mahal earlier then you intended. Can sometimes also be related to Repetitive Strain Injury. ‘The Taj Mahal’. Noun. Wonder of the World. The most incredible destination that you may ever visit in your life!           This post is part of the India and Sri Lanka: The Search for the Forgotten Tree blog series. If you liked the post, don’t forget to Stumble It or Tweet it below. Previous Post The Place Where Butterflies Come to Die Next Post Coming...