We welcome our first guest bloggers. Jackie Katz and Rachel Hersch along with Maya composed this blog while riding across Rajasthan, India. We had so much fun with the Katzes and Hersches and feel so honored that they would come all this way just to see us.
Indian Survival Guide
From our trip to India, we have compiled a list of tips and notes to remember for future travels.
- ALWAYS drink bottled water-even for brushing your teeth, despite the lack of Benji’s ability to grasp this concept. Violation of this could lead to Dehli belly and other diseases (and we have heard that the Inidan hospitals are not so nice,…)
- When visiting the Taj Mahal, be aware that it is a tomb and NOT a Hall of Tajmas, as Eva claimed. Also, it may be helpful to bring ear plugs because the guards constantly blow their whistles right in your ear. Or perhaps you may want to bring your own whistle and fight back. It’s up to you.
- When visiting the Spice Market in Old Delhi, remember that the people carrying hundreds of pounds of spices on their back have right of way and they are not stopping for ANYONE! Some shortcuts through the market may be scary and in back alleys, but as long as you have a buddy system everything should be fine. Also, after visiting, if you have black boogers it is A okay. It’s just part of the experience.
- Traffic Laws mean nothing. Driving on either side of the road, honking consistently, and swerving in between cars is perfectly normal. REMEMBER TO ALWAYS WEAR A SEATBELT or Uncle Eddie will attack you with kisses.
- Don’t be afraid to try new foods. Some of the foods we tried were Chicken Masala, Garlic Naan, Aloogobhi, Chicken Tikka, Caju Purfi (silver coated cashew candy), samosa, Vegetable Korma, carrot pudding, Ice cream made from Camel milk, and Halwa from the Sikh Temple. Keep in mind- looks can be deceiving…but sometimes they’re notJ For the most part The Goldmans, everyone was very adventurous, except certain members of our group, who shall remain nameless.
- Elephant polo is a must when traveling to India. It’s a big no no for your elephant to step on the ball and pop it. However, it is completely legal for the elephant to pick up the ball with his trunk and walk through the goal. The elephants are VERY talented!
- Traveling with a large group can prove difficult to stay together. But not only were we the only Caucasians for miles but we also wore matching shirts and hats that could be spotted easily. As Rachel said, we were very “matchy-matchy!”
- Cricket is so entertaining! Our guide Vineet taught us how to play at the polo grounds, and although we aren’t quite as good as the professionals (yet), it was still fun to give it a try! If anyone is interested, we are thinking about starting a metro-Detroit Cricket League. Call Jackie for more information.
- There is a lot of wildlife to see in India including sheep, dogs, chickens, buffalo, oxen, monkies, camels, and especially cows. Cows are sacred here. Even McDonald’s doesn’t serve beef. Instead of hamburgers, the menu features items including the McSpicy paneer and the McVeggie. (pronounced with a proper Indian accent as McWedgie)
10. India is such a beautiful, exotic, and intriguing country filled with so much to do and so much to see. The people are so curious about us and always greet us with smiles. Seeing the poverty and their lifestyles truly makes us feel grateful for what we have.