Final Thoughts

This is a link from my blog about my trip to India in 2014
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david63
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Final Thoughts

Post by david63 » 22 Nov 2014, 10:57

Without doubt this has been the holiday of a lifetime. We have seen a lot of India – albeit through a very sheltered viewpoint, but non the less we have seen and experienced the “real” India.

Before we came to India we had many preconceptions which, as it turned out were unfounded. In no particular order:

Food – at the outset we were thinking that all the food would be like that from the Indian restaurants/takeaways at home but how wrong we were. Before we came to India we had Rick Stein’s India cookbook and tried many (most) of the recipes in it and they bear no resemblance to the Indian restaurants/takeaways but are so authentic and are actually what we have been eating – along with the occasional International dish.

Poverty – our perception, from the media at home, was that India was a “poor” country, this is so unfounded. We have been told that this perception is nothing more than political propaganda. Yes we have seen some poverty especially in Mumbai but, again as we have been told, much of this is not the indigenous Indian peoples but immigrants – many from Bangladesh. The one thing that has to be borne in mind is that India has a different standard of living to that in the UK but that in itself does not mean that they are poor.

People – the main perception of the Indian people has been gained from the Indian call centres where, in the main, they come across as officious and humourless and nothing can be further from the truth. Almost everyone we have encountered has been warm, friendly and helpful – albeit the majority are in the hospitality business. But even when out and about they love nothing more than a smile from you which is returned, and the children just love you to smile and wave at them – oh and take their photo. Ay no time have we felt unsafe or threatened although we have never ventured out unaccompanied at night in the less salubrious areas!

Culture Shock – another thing that we heard before we came was that India would be a culture shock. Perhaps it was the research that we did before we came or maybe it was just how we felt about the country but, to us, it was no different than going to any other Asian type of country. Yes their way of life is different but mostly in a good way – they are alive and everywhere is vibrant. The one thing that I will never get used to is the traffic – sitting behind the driver for hours on end I ended up with my legs aching from pressing the brake pedal.

“Delhi Belly” – everyone says, or at least believes, that if you come to India then you are going to get the dreaded Delhi Belly – well we have disproved that notion. Having been here for five weeks we have not suffered at all. We have, however, taken several precautions; we have been on probiotic tablets, had salted lassi whenever we could in a morning, always drank bottled water and unless the hotel stated that the water was safe used bottled water for teeth cleaning.

Alcohol – we were lead to believe that wine, and alcohol in general, was not readily available in India. This is not so as we have proved. Imported alcohol is available but is very expensive – a bottle of wine can be anything from £45 upwards whereas the local Indian wines are more reasonable (starting from about £16 up to about £30 – these are hotel prices) and the local beer is around £3 - £5 a bottle.

Would we do this again? No, but only because we have done it.

Would we come back to India? Before we came we said that it would be unlikely that we would come back, but now we would love to come back – whether we will or not remains to be seen.

Would we do another similar trip? Even though all the travelling and packing/unpacking made it hard work yes we would if it meant that we could see and experience so much. (Packing tip for such a trip – pack items in nylon laundry bags so you only have to lift a few packages out of the case)

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GillD46
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Re: Final Thoughts

Post by GillD46 » 22 Nov 2014, 12:49

Interestingly, two of my husband's partners are Indian and although they go "home" regularly, both hate doing so, because they find it such a culture shock each and every time. They both come from very wealthy families, but say the poverty is all too commonplace. Of course they may well see things you, as a tourist, were kept away from.

Anyway, you obviously had a good trip and thank you for the reports.
Gill

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Re: Final Thoughts

Post by Manoverboard » 22 Nov 2014, 13:10

Really did enjoy reading every word of your ' Tour Tales ', we sadly have only witnessed the City and poverty of Mumbai. One day we may return to India but only courtesy of a Cruise ship and a relaxation of the Visa rules, regs and costs.

As an aside I notice that Rick Stein's India book is priced at £15 - £20, just wondered if you are thinking of giving yours away any time soon ?

:wave:

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Wina G
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Re: Final Thoughts

Post by Wina G » 22 Nov 2014, 14:20

Really enjoyed reading your reports David :D

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Re: Final Thoughts

Post by david63 » 22 Nov 2014, 15:46

Manoverboard wrote:As an aside I notice that Rick Stein's India book is priced at £15 - £20, just wondered if you are thinking of giving yours away any time soon ?
No chance

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Romig1
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Re: Final Thoughts

Post by Romig1 » 22 Nov 2014, 18:06

Thanks so much for all your numerous reports. Very entertaining and informative. Glad you've both had such a great time.

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Dancing Queen
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Re: Final Thoughts

Post by Dancing Queen » 22 Nov 2014, 18:56

I have really enjoyed following your tour so thank you for your very informative blogs.
Jo

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Suekersh
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Re: Final Thoughts

Post by Suekersh » 23 Nov 2014, 06:55

David, I have really enjoyed reading about your experiences in India. We have only seen Mumbai but would love to back and see more of this beautiful country and their friendly people.

Sue

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