An Indian Adventure

This time last year I was on a big blue train with a Dutch business man, two Australian nurses, a grinning Muslim tour guide, some cockroaches, a cup of chai and lots of curious, staring natives. This time last year I was in India.

A year later, there are many memories and experiences I know I’ll cherish. A  few of the things that stand out most are:

The food – My trip explored Southern India, which is renowned for its delicious dishes. Highlights included freshly baked chapati bread, yellow daal, egg curry (for breakfast!), home-made Keralan fish curry and the yummiest of all snacks – masala dosa.

The company – My Intrepid tour group was very small, consisting of three older travelling companions in ther fifties and a very excitable and enthusiastic local guide named Thoufeeq. I couldn’t have been in safer hands or better company – most people assumed we were some sort of dysfunctional family and as the ‘daughter’ I wasn’t bothered much at all.

The surroundings – crowded, dirty, hot cities like Chennai and Madurai littered with skinny cows but with their share of breathe-taking temples. Dramatic coastlines and sunset ocean views in Varkala and Goa. Supreme palaces in Mysore. Winding backwaters in Kerala. Luscious tropical landscapes in mystical Hampi… The variation was astounding.

The people – smiling, staring, curious and excitable. Always willing to help or make a sale, or both. (I never knew how good children could be at persuading me to part with my money before.) And I learnt all about the ambiguous head waggling gesture, which can mean yes, no, maybe or ‘whatever’ depending on the mood of the waggler.

The shopping – flower markets, incense making, fruit selling, ethnic bangles, cushion covers, pashminas, carved jewellry boxes, multi-coloured powders…. I could have spent days ambling round Indian markets. If only my backpack had been a little bigger.

Although a massive culture shock in some ways, this was a once-in-a-lifetime trip. I hope these sketches reveal something of the sights and sensations I experienced.

November 27, 2011. Tags: , , , . Food, India, Me, my artwork, travel, Uncategorized.

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