Thursday, February 16, 2012
Patterns of India
One of the things that has always stood out for me about India is the decorative art and architecture.
I suppose it's one of the things that draws me to it.
When I was 18, India was top on the list for places I wanted to visit.
Indian cooking was my favorite new hobby. I was fascinated by the curries and spices and wanted to learn more about Indian cooking. I then met an Indian Prince from Punjab at my rather alternative semester of commune living put on by my local community college. We spent an entire semester, 21 of us at an unoccupied summer camp one fall in Maine. Most of my "education" was spent in the kitchen learning both vegetarian and Indian cooking.
Somehow plans to travel to India took a back burner and my next trip was my move to Alaska instead at age 19.
Now over 35 years later I finally got my India trip.
I have traveled frequently to other parts of Southeast Asia- Thailand, Bali, Cambodia, Laos and had always heard from other travelers that India was a different sort of travel, "not a vacation, an experience"
"intense" "difficult" "mindblowing" "too many people" "filthy" "beggars everywhere following you and touching you"
It was with some trepidation that we planned this trip, I wasn't exactly sure what was in store for us.
My son's girlfriend is from India so when she was planning her yearly trip back to see her folks and had invited my son to make the trip we took it upon ourselves to invite ourselves along at least for the convenience of a jumping off and landing place to bookend our trip.
What I didn't expect was that our almost 5 week trip was like visiting about 5 different countries each with a different flavor, climate and scenery. I suppose I did know on some level when you think of a country that large that it will span many environs but it was the actual traveling and the short amount of time we did it in that made an even bigger impact on my psyche.
I've told more than a few people of how exhausting it was, we didn't spend more than 4 days in any one place and as I've experienced in most of my overseas travel that I tend to go into survival mode trying to conserve my energy and not to overextend myself. Try that when you are traveling with a non-stop energy bunny that I call my husband. He can just go-go-go and it's up to me to speak up for the rest breaks.
I had to abandon the diet I had crafted for myself just to make things simpler.
No wheat wasn't an option for me when there were daily offerings of naan, rotis and chapatis.
I was quite surprised that I didn't take to Indian food as I thought I would (or it didn't take to me)
The sauces seemed too heavy and I think I just didn't know what to order a lot of the time.
It took some trial and error to find my favorites.
Most of our meals were Indian food at restaurants for travelers and I tired of the menus.
The seafood and rice-based dishes in the south were my favorites and there was more fresh produce gracing our meals. We took the chance with salads.
My all time favorite food was dosas, a rice and dal based thin pancake with a bit of filling.
Paper dosas were enourmous bigger than your plate sized thin crepe like pancakes that had some nicely seasoned potatoes filling them. That's my kind of breakfast!
Pink Palace, Jaipur
I wonder what this says
Carving and paint job on a delivery truck
India was such a wealth of imagery and experience that I'm hoping to distill it here to share with you some of the thoughts, images and feelings that I acquired on our trip.
Feel free to ask me any questions You may have.
I'm only halfway through editing my photos from the trip so far.
I will share with you the biggest tragedy of the trip right now.
What, as a blogger would be one of the worst things that could befall you barring accidents and health concerns?
Losing all your photos, right?
Well that's exactly what happened to my husband "Mr Paparazzi" himself on the last days of our trip.
He apparently left his camera with the memory chip from the entire trip in a taxi in Mumbai.
We were so incredibly careful the whole trip and it seems our guard was down when we took our last taxi ride to our friends house in Mumbai. He probably had twice as many as I did on that memory chip and there were quite a few that I counted on him having on his camera that I wanted to share.
At least my photos survived and so did we.