We visit a slum in Delhi when our hired driver for our Rajasthan trip invited us to join his family for dinner at his house.
India presents herself in a very raw way.
The harassment of touts, vendors and rickshaw drivers keeps you in a permanent state of alert. But the caring curiosity of locals, especially the children’s, melts your guard down with friendly questions, handshakes or selfie requests.
Fighting through the mix of colors, smells and sounds, coming from everywhere all the time, wrecks your focus abilities and hinders your brain function.
Hundreds of begging hands pass you by while you stand in the queue to enter the Taj Mahal, spending a fortune to gaze at its glowing sumptuousness, blurred by a thick curtain of smog.
No matter how fancy your resort, or how exclusive your package tour. How savvy your private driver or guide, or even how much of the world you’ve seen before. India will show you both the most dreadful and the most beautiful scenes you have ever witnessed. In a brutal, relentless manner, that constantly challenges your senses, thoughts and skills.
This is, I believe, the reason why India generates such a wide range of feelings among visitors. Sometimes it’s rewarding, other times discouraging. While sometimes it’s plainly amusing, others it’s downright frustrating. Yet, it’s always confusing, always uncomfortable. And never boring.
But however you may feel when the flight home takes off, the only thing you’ll be sure is that your experience cannot be summarized into the set of straightforward answers you’re used to reply about your travels. Questions such as “What was it like over there?”, “Did you have fun?”, or “What did you like/dislike more?” provide enough material for a Master Thesis.
Visiting India requires preparation. But only visiting India can prepare you to visit India.
Diwali at Pushkar: the Marigold Scam
Diwali is a magical time in India. Ingrained with the spirit of the season, we let our guard down… and ended up getting scammed. Here’s how it happened.
About our relationship with our driver during our 2 week trip to Rajasthan. How we dealt with his suggestions and how these affected our trip both positively and negatively.
At Amer, near Jaipur, we struggle with the ethics behind elephant riding. A visit to a “shelter” further deepens our bewilderment and shatters our minds.