Our time in India has been great, although a little traumatic. Probably the most enjoyable part was actually experiencing India and seeing all the wonderful, colourful places and people. And most importantly, eating all the food we can at bargain prices.
Let's see if our good memories of India outweigh the bad.
Food - for all of you who know us - and that's all of you except for the guy who responded to our blog on Hyderabad defending the beauty of his home city - you will know that food is always at the top of our list. And India has so much food to choose from. You can have chicken curry, fish curry, mutton curry, egg curry, red curry, blue curry and best of all the food poisoning kind of curry. All very tasty but ...just a lot of curry. They do however have lots of other types of delicious dishes (like prawn curry, vegetable curry, dhal curry...okay just kidding) such as tasty biriyanis and pulaos, great breads (naan, praatha) and sickeningly sweek Indian treats. Kitty of course had his fill of them all and didn't get sick once. Amazing, considering some of the places we ate at.
Maccas - Who could also resist the chance at taking a peek at the local Indian MacDonalds. Since most of India doesn't eat beef it's hard to imagine what's on the menu. They have stuff like McAloo (fried potato burgers) and McChappati Chicken.
Freedom to be rude - It's so fun that you're allowed to be rude. For example, it's perfectly acceptable to tell the shopkeeper that they're lying, that this is not camel leather and that you noticed a skinless dog outside. Or at least this is what my lovely husband has come think is acceptable. It does make the day a lot more fun though.
Running from Touts - It's traumatic, annoying and you hate it while it's happening but in retrospect it has been some of our most fun moments. We've even developed a special move "The Double Attack". When we see a potential annoying hawker, instead of waiting for him to charge at us, we charge at him holding hands, then at the last moment we split, thus confusing the said hawker and avoiding his attack. What remains is a rather perplexed hawker who doesn't know what hit him.
Staring back at the Starers - Although you'd think Indian's have seen Chinese people before, apparently they haven't. Thus, they feel compelled to stare. Not discreetly mind you. This is a full on stare, walk past turn around and stare and keep staring until they can't see you anymore or find another poor tourist to stare at. Funnily enough they don't stare at the "white tourists". But when in Rome do as the Romans do. So we stared back to and even filmed some of them sometimes.
Bargaining - Here's a tip for anyone planning a trip to India. There is nothing more fun than bargaining. Just shoot their price down and wait for them to ask you what your best price is. We usually start at a quarter of retail price and only move up about 10 rupees. Seems to work though. There is nothing more satisfying than seeing an annoyed shopkeeper while you walk out with a bag full of their wares. (More likely though, they've practised their annoyed face and are now laughing at you behind you're back for still paying too much).
Cheap Stuff - So it's a third world country full of people who need money so you kind of feel bad buying stuff at such ridiculously cheap prices (by Western standards anyway). But, once you tell your conscience to get lost you end up with some pretty good stuff. I now have enough cheap quality junk jewellery and poorly manufactured clothing for at least another three months (after which all these trinkets will have probably fallen to pieces). But at least I got them on the cheap. Or at least that's what I keep telling Kitty anyway.