A year and a half ago, i was remembering the varanasi taught in class.
I’ll be off to north india. I’m pretty sure it will be a strange strange encounter. Which is strange, because here in singapore we have the food, we know the moves (coconut tree dance on one end, and thaipusam/deepavali/etc on the other), we certainly have the people–amongst us were the people. But how often does one have both a place taken for granted in its familiarity, and then the opportunity to have that challenged.
We land in new delhi, and will make a loop down to varanasi.
Mainly two advice came up when we asked around: book train tickets very early, and bring along diarrhoea pills. Not ‘don’t drink the tapwater’, or ‘keep off the street food’, but a leapfrog to ‘bring your pills’ as if falling ill will be a matter of fact. Actually, i’ve not met anyone who’s been to new delhi and not ended up with the belly. Even my steely boss with her perfect hair. Even indians who go to new delhi fall sick, i was told. So i’m actually nervous and packing the immodium, especially as 1/4 of the trip will be spent on trains.. not a good place to hurl. From either end.. I don’t know how i’ll stick to my plan to gorge on as much lassi as possible, but at least i’ll have my immodium.
In the same way, i’m more determined than ever to go equipped to catch the onslaught of new experiences. How can i remember better? What could help me think better? Twitter. Unromantic, but i got excited–once ephemeral, new thoughts can now be concrete in 140 characters. I could chart my journey. Geek*
The average is 12degC, but i’m packing real light. The cool in egypt reminded me clothes do last twice as long in colder climates.. My only baggage will be thoughts leftover, and plans to come back to. And i trust this new year in particular brings fresh impetus for authenticity.