Vince Weeks


Vince Weeks

Hey, I'm Vince. My fiancee, Meg and I are traveling to India and Nepal for 6 months.

Asia » India » Himachal Pradesh » Dharamsala April 14th 2014

I'm sure you've been there - I know I have. It's 10 PM, and you're about ready for bed. But first - let me check Facebook. Just for a few minutes, to check my updates. 2 hours later, you finally shut off your computer, somehow dissatisfied with your day - with your life. My personal experience is backed up by a recent study that found that after spending time on Facebook, people are more depressed and report less life satisfaction than before going on the social networking site. The study concluded that jealousy was the cause of this trend. It's easy to see why. When people post photos or updates about their life, they put their best foot forward. They tell the world about their latest promotion, or post photos of their happy partners and families ... read more

Asia » India » Uttar Pradesh » Varanasi February 27th 2014

Travelling around India, I often have absolutely no idea what's going on. Each week, I try to post a new mystery - something I saw that I just don't get. You online readers may have a better chance discovering the mystery with your speedy online connection than I have while trying to communicate my questions here in India. Here is this week's mystery: When I first heard it, I didn't think much of it. Walking down a street in Jaiselmir, Rajastan, I passed yet another street tout, this guy selling flutes. He played a familiar song that I knew well - but I didn't quite place it, trying instead to ignore him so that he would ignore me (it's worth a hope). By the time we got to Goa, the tune was inescapable. Walking down the ... read more

Asia » India » Karnataka » Mysore January 24th 2014

We were in Mysore, 3 hours southeast of Bangalore, on our way to the government silk factory, when 3 cows across the street caught my attention. After 3 months in India, I usually don't notice cows anymore. We've seen cows in the city, cows standing on a thin grassy median surrounded by relentless Indian traffic, cows on the beach, cows on the train station platform, cows in restaurants, cows in temples. Big cows, little cows, camel cows, cows with painted horns adorned like an Indian bus, sleeping cows, walking cows, stampeding cows, frisky cows, even self-pleasuring cows (seriously). I usually don't give them a second glance. But these cows were yellow!I don't know why they're yellow, or how they're yellow. All the white spots on the cows we saw in Mysore were dyed yellow.There was a ... read more

Asia » India » Goa » Arambol January 8th 2014

Possibly the most popular backpacker destination and hangout spot in all of India, Goa has probably been the lowest point on our trip so far. A rat-infested hut, relentless nocturnal mosquitoes, getting sick in the middle of the night, being bed-ridden with a fever, dirty and crowded beaches, Indian men with no respect for women (especially on New Year's Eve), a crashed scooter, and to top it all off - head lice. After Christmas further north in Diu, we made a mad dash to make it to Goa by New Year's - from one former Portuguese colony beach to another. A 20-hour sleeper bus (we waited 4 hours until an angry taxi driver put us inexplicably in the back of his car and drove us to meet the bus, on its way without us), brought us ... read more

Asia » India » Gujarat » Ahmedabad December 26th 2013

Trekking (or backpacking, or hiking, or tramping) has taught me a lot that is useful elsewhere in life - how to plan ahead and prepare, how to be resourceful, how to navigate, how to make do with little, and a lot more. Below is a short list of what I've learned trekking that has come in handy while traveling in India for 6 months. 1. Make your own breakfast. If you are on a tight budget, breakfast is an easy meal to make on your own. Rooms with stoves are very hard to find and cost much more than a regular room so stick to a cold meal. Cereal or muesli and powdered milk is a classic trail meal and easy to find in India. Just add purified water and you are ready to go. True ... read more

Asia » India » Rajasthan » Jaisalmer December 19th 2013

The first time I used an ATM in India, I got a preview of Indians' different standards for privacy. It was one of my first days in India, and I was very concerned about security. Meg and I entered the walk-in ATM by our hotel in Delhi. I took my ATM card out of my wallet (the geeky kind that straps around my body underneath my shirt). As I was entering in my information, another man entered the tiny room. In the US, privacy is very respected around ATMs. People give you the space you need, especially when entering in your information. Not so in India. The man was all up in my space, standing inches behind me and to my right, with full view of the screen and keypad. Sometimes, people do things that are ... read more

Asia » India » Himachal Pradesh » Shimla December 5th 2013

After a month of peace and quiet, of cafes and momos, of Buddhism and English tutoring, it was time to leave McLoed Ganj and re-enter the "real India." We hopped our first bus down to the bigger town of Daramshala from McLeod and began our epic journey. In the past 48 hours we have taken 5 buses, 4 trains and 2 auto rickshaws (like 3 wheeled scooters), all of which, disregarding the rickshaws, were local means of transportation and devoid of any westerners except for ourselves. We took a second bus from Daramshala to Kangra and caught a rickshaw to the train station. We were dropped off at a no-name town and told to go down the street even too small for our rickshaw to the station. Down the road, over a fairly sturdy pedestrian suspension ... read more

Asia » India » Uttarakhand » Rishikesh December 5th 2013

One thing I love about traveling in foreign countries is that for much of the time, I have absolutely no idea what is going on.I can't speak or read the language, and in India, I can't even read the letters. I don't know what people are doing, why they're doing it, or what I should be doing. I constantly see things that I can't begin to understand or comprehend. Sometimes, I figure these situations out with a little experience and knowledge. Other times, it remains a mystery. Each week, I will write about something I see or experience that completely baffles me. Or a simple curiosity. If anyone had any ideas about what I write about, or actual experience, feel free to leave a comment. I'll report back and update the post when or if I ... read more

Asia » India » Himachal Pradesh » Dharamsala November 15th 2013

We first noticed this phenomenon when a baked good we had ordered to go from Tibet Quality Bakery in Dharamshala was handed to us in a wrapper labeled Crystal Light. We wondered if this was some sort of advertising - perhaps Crystal Light, a low-calorie powder added to water to give it a fruity flavor, passed out free food packaging to shops, and advertised through their name on the packaging. We saw this same packaging at various shops throughout the town. When we inspected it further, we saw that the packaging was printed so that it was set up for individual packets, to be cut from the larger sheet, the edges fused shut, and filled with the powder. It was given to shops in larger sheets. Tibet Bakery gave us our brownies and nut bars in ... read more

Asia » India » Himachal Pradesh » Dharamsala November 5th 2013

Indian TV is hilarious. On our first day in India, while taking a break from the hectic streets of New Delhi, we turned on the TV in our hotel and surfed the channels. Indian TV is so busy! Meg and I are that couple who will tell you about how we don't own a TV in our house because if we did, we wouldn't be able to help ourselves from watching it all the time. And I'm that guy who, while out at a bar or restaurant with a TV (or 12) on, ignores everything and everyone around him, staring vacantly at the flashing lights and pretty colors while absentmindedly sipping my beer. It doesn't matter what's on - Nascar, the evening news, plotless movies withs lots of explosions, golf - the TV always commands my ... read more

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