I swear I love India. The people are wonderful, the trees are majestic, and the culture and food are world class. It’s the most interesting place in the world. But there’s some unique aspects to traveling here I feel compelled to write about. So, sorry, Indian Ministry of Tourism, here’s my list of, ahem, interesting moments in Indian travel.
>>Is that dog gonna die? India is home to thousands of street dogs, and occasionally they need to cross a street. Every year I watch in horror as one darts into a busy street without so much as a glance in either direction. But, in fifteen years of Indian travel, I’ve yet to see one get hit. Knock on wood.
>>I wonder if anyone will care if I throw this in the street? Street vendors sell corn on the cob here, but there’s few trash cans and trash everywhere. After polishing off a delicious cob, I get tired of toting it around looking for a trash can. Hmm. What to do? Oh well, I think I’ll just give some extra calories to one of those street dogs. When in Rome.
>>What’s that herd of water buffalo doing running down a busy street? More questions: Does anyone own those animals? What do they do all day long? Where are they going? Do they get angry if a tourist on a motorcycle accidentally bumps into one of the herd? Do they stop for pedestrians? Or do pedestrians just get the hell out of their way?
>>Is that gonna kill me? This covers a wide gamut—power lines dangling at head level, sparking electrical transformers, maniacs driving on the wrong side of the road at night with their lights off, big holes in sidewalks that appear to lead to the seedy side of hell, and mosquitos that carry malaria and dengue. Oh, and food that can transmit typhoid, water that can carry cholera. There’s lots more dangers, but I’d be piling on.
(To be continued… )