Seeing as it’s the weekend, I figured you might enjoy a light-hearted post. Yesterday I was forwarded the email below, from a friend who works at an investment bank in London. The email is written by a colleague, about her recent trip to India, and is sent to a male friend thinking of taking a trip there. The author is American.
Hope you are well. India was a wonderful place, I truly enjoyed it and do hope to go back. I was in the southwest, in a province called Kerala… which is unlike most of India b/c it’s pretty much split between Muslims, Hindus, and Christians (nowhere else in India are there Christians). The major city I was in was Kochin.
Some things to take into account… every part of India is different, it’s a huge country and my experience is quite unlike those of my friends who have been to Mumbai, Bangalore, and Dehli. Those 3 major cities are considered cosmopolitan, but they are still very overcrowded with rampant homelessness and disease. You can not drink the water anywhere in India as a Westerner and you will never be able to, which I thought was interesting. This then means you are on constant alert for washing dishes with bottled water, not accepting fruits such as watermelon since they are mostly water and will make you ill, and eating salad… You can also still get malaria and other diseases that aren’t in the western world. The monsoon season is also pretty harsh in terms of weather and they speak 100s of languages… so it would be tough to learn the native tongue wherever you end up. You will be stared at as a Westerner and possibly targeted for crime… although less since you are a man. The north is Muslim, the south is Hindu… so being an American right now in the north is a bit touchy. The North is where the Taj Mahal, etc… are and is more touristy. Public transportation is hot and CROWDED. If you think the tube is bad in the morning… well, people in India will literally hang off the back of a bus by their arms to try and stay on!!! It’s a very differnet culture though… nothing is organized, nothing is put together… I think I would get frustrated b/c from my American upbringing things they do sometimes don’t make sense (i.e. no one queues, they just mob places).
Ok, now the positives… When it’s no the rainy season, it’s beautiful- lush, green, fruits like bananas and mangos grow wild everywhere (and you can eat those, rule usually is, if it has a peel, you can eat it… i.e. bananas, papayas, etc…). There are gorgeous temples and skylines. The ocean is fantastic (although polluted so don’t swim in it). Your money is worth SO much there, so if you have savings you will feel like a rich man. Most people there do love Americans, even Muslims. You could obviously travel easily, although not in the nice style we are used to here with clean trains and planes.
Anyway, so that’s that… sorry for a novel, but I really did love it there and I want to go back… I would def vacation there for a month or two. Let me know what you find out/ get out there though… I have a huge Lonely Planet book on India.
Have a great day,
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