A Travellerspoint blog

By this Author: mexibell

I'm HOME!!!


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Journeys end in lovers meeting,
Every wise man's son doth know.

-William Shakespeare

I arrived home last Friday night a little later than planned and sans one piece of luggage, but completely happy to be in the country I love!

Last Wednesday I started to have a sore throat. B had been having allergy problems all week, so I thought it was just a delayed onset of the allergy problems she had been experiencing. By Thursday morning I was miserable. I didn't even go to work on my last day in India. I tried sleeping but I happened to not bring the only truly useful medicine for all ailments: Nyquil.

We left the hotel at 4am on Friday morning and spent 30ish hours traveling to get home. It was the longest 30 hours of my life. I didn't have enough medicine and had a fever, couldn't sleep. Got to Kansas City around 11pm. It was then that I discovered that my large piece of luggage was missing. I had it in Chicago to go through customs, but then had to re-check it for the Chicago to KC flight.

I eventually got my luggage on Monday night and am settling back into home life. Miagi was so excited to see me he wouldn't let me out of his site for 12 hours.

I learned a lot about me that I either didn't know or was beginning to realize recently. I do not like large crowds of people that invade my personal bubble. It's par for the course in India. I think I started to become numb to it.

I do not like feeling out of control. At all. So much so that I start to panic some. Which is not to say that I do not like the unknown.

I would probably enjoy traveling more. We've just never had the money or time to do it yet. I think a trip to London next year is in order though.

Signing off!

Posted by mexibell 19:06 Archived in India Tagged air_travel Comments (0)

Social Shock


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There are some very different social customs in India that can be good and bad. One that I was so excited to see was that the women in India do not concern themselves with much make-up or fixing their hair up. I never felt underdressed or the need to put make-up on to go out and about. Another custom I like is that the males in India are very comfortable with each other and you will often see then with their arms around each other while walking along. This is something you just don’t see in America and we should change that.

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The women do not do this though. Men and women do not show affection in public here.

Guests are treated very well in India. The service in our hotel has been the best I’ve ever received. But when you go out on the street some of the locals who are poorer see you as if you have money-bags in your hands. You are singled out by beggars and have to shake them off. One of my co-workers had to shoo a little boy away yesterday when we were coming back from lunch. Some of the shopkeepers will say something to the effect of “It’s only $100 American…” when we balk at prices in the stores. That’s really hard to hear when I work very hard for my money and penny-pinch at home. I would actually buy more if they didn’t say things like that.

Now for some of the gross stuff: people here do not use Kleenex. You will see people on the street, blowing their nose onto the ground. I didn’t get a picture of that. There are also people spitting on the street, which I know happens in the states and I still think it’s gross there too (not to mention unattractive!). I also saw people peeing on the side of the road numerous times.

Now here is where the confusing part comes in. I saw a show on India where they were talking about Bollywood, and some of the customs that the movie industry follows. One of the examples was that there is no kissing in movies. I have not see a kiss between a man and women on Indian TV, movies or music videos. Apparently it is seen as dirty…and blowing your nose in the street is not??? And you shouldn’t hold hands in public but peeing on the side of the road is ok. I don’t understand the meaning of some of these customs at all.

While this next item isn’t a custom, you should get used to it if you come to India. You get stared at. All the time. People will turn as they pass you to look at you. And I’m not exactly drawing attention to myself with immodest dress, make-up or fancy hair. We weren’t bothered by it until last Sunday, when we went to the Botanical Gardens here and people were constantly looking at us. I even asked Brenda if I had a stain or something on my face that would draw the attention. All I know is that if I ever feel compelled to stare at someone, I will remember how I felt on Sunday.

Posted by mexibell 07:57 Archived in India Comments (0)

The New Man in My Life


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I am in love with another man. We meet each night and he knows exactly what I want. It's a shame it's going to have to end.

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He makes the best naan and rotis that I've had. We talk each night about our days and we joke at each other. I am not usually a bread girl, but I could each naan and rotis all day. I especially love cheese naan and have even gotten B turned onto it. I think when I go home I will be in naan and paneer withdrawal...

Posted by mexibell 08:24 Archived in India Comments (0)

Toilet Talk


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If you can't talk about poo, you should just close this internet browser right now. This post isn't for you!

Two very kind people informed me about why it is considered rude to eat with your left hand in some countries. It is because being that toilet paper is a relatively new idea, the left hand was usually used to wipe yourself after you poo. Even though you washed it after, it was always considered unclean and in some places is still a big taboo to eat with your left hand.

Lucky for me, Bangalore is very Westernized and a lot of people do not care because let me tell you, it is hard to break apart bread with only one hand. Try it sometime and see what I mean. I will say though that since I've been here, I've been trying to stick to the right hand only when eating just in case.

But let's continue this discussion around poo...

This is what all the Indian toilets I have used look like:

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Notice a few things:
1. There is no tank. So if gravity isn't used to help flush then they have to be using a pressure system of some sort, which leads me to the next item...
2. There are no low-flow toilets in India. You better make sure you are 5 feet away or you might be sucked in. Ear plugs are recommended too.
3. America could learn a lot about toilet stalls from India. At our company office in Bangalore, the women's restrooms have three stalls in them. But it's like each stall is it's own room! It's GREAT! Complete privacy from other people in the restroom. This must be because of the modesty of the women here. Maybe I can find out from my friend who is here for 6 months about the men's restroom. I think that if America took a page from Indian public toilets there would be fewer women who are constipated and refuse to poo outside their homes.
4. You know how in American public restrooms we have mega-sized toilet-paper dispensers? The kind that hold 12 rolls at a time? I'm lucky if I find one roll of toilet paper in a stall here. And it's definately not Charmin. A good reason to always carry a spare, travel-size roll of toilet paper with you in India. I brought two!
5. And lastly, you've probably noticed this in the picture and wondered why I haven't said anything. You see that spray nozzle in the corner? These are also in every restroom I've been in here. It's for those who still choose not to use toilet paper and prefer to clean themselves with water.

It's been proven that this method of cleaning oneself is cleaner. I understand that. But I have two major objections to using this in a public setting; first, I can only imagine the coordination involved to spray in the right direction and keep your clothes from getting wet. I lack this coordination so I don't even try. Secondly, can you imagine the germs? Let me state that I'm not a germophobe. I use public restrooms and touch door handles and don't lay toilet paper on the seat unless absolutely necessary. But I do have an ick! factor at the thought of touching that spray nozzle. So I don't. That's one India experience that I think I can pass on.

Posted by mexibell 04:29 Archived in India Tagged tips_and_tricks Comments (0)

Butterfly Park


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On Saturday we headed to Bannerghetta National Park which is just outside Bangalore. There they have a butterfly park where you can walk through a huge domed enclosure which houses lots of butterflies, interesting plants, and waterfalls.

I love butterflies and especially taking pictures of them. I wish that I had spent a little more time with a couple of my shots. I really like working with the macro setting on cameras and butterflies and flowers are excellent subjects for practice. Here is one of the best shots of the day.

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Posted by mexibell 09:30 Archived in India Tagged tourist_sites Comments (0)

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