thoughts/impression of india<south>

#1 Apr 25th, 2003, 06:35
i enjoy country living and relaxed pace in life.
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  • chrissawka is offline
#1
i will share my experiences/feelings of india and encourage others as well to,so 1'st timers can use this info to plan their trip

in 1 sentence.......i loved india with all my heart,but 80% of the people i know wouldn't last 72 hours before fliing back home

i spent 6 weeks travelling alone in southern india<1'st time> and after being home 4 days i miss it's craziness already.I'D GUESS I SPENT ABOUT $650.00 CDN.<low budget > but i enjoyed everything i longed for as much as i wanted<food/drinks<non-alcohol>/cigarettes> just stayed in cheaper hotels and watched my spending<local buses/walking/rickshaws rather than taxis>
my itinerary<excuse the spelling>mumbai
goa: ARAMBOL<met M2 for kingfisher>
VAGATOR<flashlight a must at night>
ANJUNA<wed for market>
OLD GOA<cathedrals are worth spending 1/2 day...wed aft.>
-took paulo luxury bus from goa to hospet,got out in gadag,then bus to badami-
BADAMI<nice caves and old style town,open sewers>>
PADDAKAL<catch early minibus fr. badami/then aihole in aftrnoon>
AIHOLE<nice temples.this goes for every place in india i think!>
HAMPI<amazing countryside.like the flintstones...relax here>
MYSORE<palace is awesome.also lots of cheap day tours to ?>
OOTY<nice ...tour from mysore 120 rps.>
KOCHIN<beware rm 209 in salv. hostel has bed bugs.i was victim>
MUNNAR<take bus to top stn and walk in forest>
KUMILY<per. park boat trip a must..also trek off the path<road>...not allowed but u'll see way more animals.......trust me! at own risk of course..plead ignorance if caught!>
KOTTAYAM<ferry to alleppy>
ALLEPPY<backwaters a must 300 rps not 150 as listed in l.p. >
KOLLAM<boat tour kinda long but nice,bring lotta film>
VARKALA<similar to goan beaches....thicker palms i think,food more expensive beer as well>
KANYAKUMARI<awesome sunset....no beach though!>
MADURAI<huge temples/most aggresive touts i encountered>
KODAIKANAL<expensive i found,munnar much nicer+cheaper>
- i did all this in approx. 4 1/2 weeks then relaxed in palolem and mumbai before fliing to europe and meeting 'the great steve ber'-

i found india challenging in that when someone told u something,u had to confirm it from 2 pref. 3 different sources before believing it<i walked the wrong dir. or caught wrong bus many a time before learning this lesson the hard way>,also in munnar asked 4 different trav/tourist places when/which bus toget to kumily and i honestly got 4 totally different answers....totally different 100 % responces
the people of india are so nice and freindly and the country and weather is beautiful.
i found the food really good and was veg for 4 weeks then ate beef liek crazy ........mmmmm beef curry......prawn noodles lots of veg variaty and in 6 weeks i never got sick once<i was cautious though a bit>
it is really cheap to travel there but the simpliest thing back home is a huge time consuming mission to achieve in india<buying trn tickets/cashing trav checks/mailing letter> you can't imagine how long the simpliest thing takes to accomplish but that is 1/2 the charm of india.........it is different from home. at times i was truely ready to scream or choke someone.now i look back and laugh at the experiences
u'll see farm animals roaming the streets of big cities<cows/pigs/chickens ect> and at night watch the rats comeout from every nook and crevice around
bus travel scared me to death<had laurie{truck} smash the mirror of our tour bus on narrow bridge.....inches from head on collision.....my god!> but i went from arambol to kodiakannal without steppin foot on a single train and i am alive and typing u's
india attacks all u're senses all at once the sights and smells<some good some bad> and it is so noisy and constant honking just for the sake of honking i think the poverty had me want to give away all my things and just lay in the streets and cry for the homeless
i did learn to share a room with cockroaches/gecko's/ants and the use of a squat tiolet<saw 2 rats in hostel hallway<mumbai> and woke up covered in bed bug bites in kochin {rm 209 salv. army hostel dorms} aviod i tell ya>
funny how i hated and was creeped out by all those creatures at first now i love gecko's<eat cockroaches>,cockroaches are just bugs really! and i was amused in a train stn to watch rats scurry round,my final week also in madurai i asked for room w/sqt tiolet when i was dissappionted to see a western one in the bathroom<how i changed in that time>
showering with a bucket of cold water and cup became normal and enjoyably refreshing afetr a while<not terrible like at the start>
at first i hated everyone touching yer food before serving it to u,it disgusted me,then in alleppy i had a waiter carry a parotta from the kitchen to my plate in his open palm..............and then i ate it<without complaining as we'd do back home>
i was humbled in india and realized that freinds and family and seeing the good in everything and forgetting the bad are most important in life. Money/cars/fancy clothes are just the root of all greed/selfishness and evil<by all us 1st world b-stards>

you may look at a cup and grumble that it is 1/2 empty but i'll look at it and rejioce that it still 1/2 full this is how i changed after visiting india i appreciate everything soo much more and realize how lucky i am<i hate how greedy and self centred people around me at home are...now i notice it....always wanting more and nothing ever good enough> me i have never been so happy and satified in my life and i owe it all to that great land...india!

on another note though i must also say if u are the type of person who can't handle:1> people begging you for money 2>people using the street as a tiolet 3>cockroach in yer room 4>people everywhere,staring at u 5>eating w/fingers or having speck of food from prev. cust. included in your plate<happened to me> 6>deciding yer own route cuz everyone u ask tells u different things 7>being crammed in a bus like sardines and smelling an armpit or two 8>using a squat tiolet or relieving yourself<#1 or 2> behind a tree/building/wherever
WELL THEN STAY IN THE SAFETY OF YOUR COUNTRY HAVING MOMMY AND DADDY PROTECTING AND SHELTERING............and let the rest of us enjoy this wonderful country.
TO ALL THWE SWEET PEOPLE OF INDIA.......................i miss you all but will see u again soon as everyday i wake up to miss you more and go to bed more disgusted with my greedy 1'st world society/culture i live in.
although at times i will admit i truely hated india<how a simple thing is so complicated and time consuming for no logical reason at all...........just because!> but there were so many more when i was having the time of my life just watching and absorbing everything there was to offer


if you want a relaxing/stressfree/no thinking required holiday.....buy a package trip or go to mexico..................BUT IF YOU WANT AN ADVENTURE,THEN BACKPACK THROUGH INDIA



this is my personal opinion of what i experienced i hope u enjoyed reading it and feel free to p.m. me w/comments
no i don't think i know everything bout india just triing to share what little i learnt when i was there<as other's before did for me>
if by chance i offended someone......................s uck it up as no i am not sorry .......I just wrote what i experienced and felt 1'st hand and let it spill on the keyboard
proudly chris sawka
enjoyed 6 weeks in southern india and saving up to go back..
i never hated.....yet loved<more>a country soo much
words cannot truely describe the satisfaction it gives u
#2 Apr 25th, 2003, 06:53
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  • -m2- is offline
#2
way to go, Chris!!!

m2
#3 Apr 25th, 2003, 13:02
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  • paan wallah is offline
#3
one more addicted to india
#4 Apr 25th, 2003, 13:59
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  • Watson is offline
#4
Youíve got bitten by the bug of India addiction! It will never settle, It will always throb in the background of your head reemerging almost daily in various intensities. Watch a docu. Read a book even just see a Sari in your cold western world and the longing comes back in a wave of nostalgia. Itís like a drug. The good thing is that indiamike helps all of us going on cold turkey get by a little better.
With forum members like you we have the opportunity to relive our own experiences through your eyes.
#5 Apr 25th, 2003, 19:14
Nothing is illegal until you get caught~
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  • jjacquemain is offline
#5

That was great Chris!

Thanks so much for sharing your trip and feelings with us. I'd bet that I could have written at least half of your experiences verbatim......with the exception of perhaps the bed bug part....*ick*

Glad your hooked!

Julie
#6 Apr 25th, 2003, 21:19
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  • LaContessa is offline
#6
Welcome to the addicts club!

Not a bad addiction as far as addictions go.

Only it won't go away, you won't manage to kick it, and it won't matter how many time you visit the place, you will keep wanting to return.
It seemed like a good thing to do at the time.......
#7 Apr 30th, 2003, 05:54
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  • -m2- is offline
#7
...and like Watson says, it's like re-living that 'first time' experience -- hope you'll hang around as your experiences and observations will be of particular interest to first-time planners -- and although you don't hold your beer very well, you seem like a pretty nice guy.

m2
#8 Nov 4th, 2008, 20:31
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  • angeld is offline
#8
I loved reading that, it made me laugh and wince but also prepare myself for my first Indian Adventure. Bring it on!
#9 Feb 6th, 2009, 17:05
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  • chinaphotographer is offline
#9
Quote:
Originally Posted by chrissawka View Post i will share my experiences/feelings of india and encourage others as well to,so 1'st timers can use this info to plan their trip
awesome post!!! thanks for the inspiration! i expect to have a similar budget-adventure soon. hope i come out of it as upbeat as you
#10 Feb 7th, 2009, 10:40
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  • MSchalk is offline
#10
Great post. Staying right now for almost two months in India, I have to say that Kerala was great - like a home from home - real hospitality, nice scenery, gorgeous food, Coorg was an underestimated gem, Mysore was my favourite city (exotic, but still a nice place to live in), Hampi was serene, and even Bangalore - though not beautiful - was OK as a diversion from the "real India" for a day.

The only place I disliked so far is Tamil Nadu, and here is why:
1. lack of service and hospitality in every accomodation I've been here so far
2. incompetent and greedy temple guides
3. the worst rikscha drivers I met with the exception of Bangalore
4. the locals seem less friendly, cheerful and outgoing than lets say the Keralites - if someone helps you, it is usually an Indian tourist from another part of the country
5. a lack of spoken English knowledge compared with the rest of South India
6. also, foreign tourists here seem a different sort than in Kerala or Hampi, often content with staying in one place for some time, just because it is cheap and warm here, and not really interested in local life

All in all, it is good for sightseeing, but has no friendly vibe in my opinion. I am glad to have seen it but once is enough.
Last edited by MSchalk; Feb 7th, 2009 at 15:22.. Reason: spelling mistake
#11 Feb 7th, 2009, 11:29
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  • swarren is offline
#11
thanks for this post, you have put into words exactly how i felt too!
#12 Feb 7th, 2009, 11:34
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#12
I was in Southern India nearly a year and a half ago. I crave it nearly every day! Some friends asked if I would go back after the terrorist's attacks.They were horrified to realize I would be on the first plane out if my bank account allowed. It is truly an assault on the senses. There is nothing like it. I have done a bit of travelling, and there is nothing to compare it to. For those of us who have worn friends and family out with India stories, I suggest going to your local Indian restaurant and letting it slip that you have been to India. Generally they are always ready to talk about home, and sometimes offer travel advice!
#13 Feb 7th, 2009, 11:58
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  • SitaParityaga is offline
#13
Quote:
Originally Posted by MSchalk View Post The only place I disliked so far is Tamil Nadu, and here is why:
1. lack of service and hospitality in every accomodation I've been here so far
2. incompetent and greedy temple guides
3. the worst rikscha drivers I met with the exception of Bangalore
4. the locals seem less friendly, cheerful and outgoing than lets say the Keralites - if someone helps you, it is usually an Indian tourist from another part of the country
5. a lack of spoken English knowledge compared with the rest of South India
6. also, foreign tourist here seem a different sort than in Kerala or Hampi, often content with staying in one place for some time, just because it is cheap and warm here, and not really interested in local life

All in all, it is good for sightseeing, but has no friendly vibe in my opinion. I am glad to have seen it but once is enough.
Everyone has their own opinion about their favorite places. I'd like to balance MSchalk post with my opinion. Tamil Nadu is one of my favorite places in India.

#1. The friendliness of the local people warmed my heart, day after day.
#2. I never had an incompetent temple guide.
#3. I had wonderful autorickshaw drivers everywhere I went. I was nice to them, and they were nice to me.
#4. The locals treated me with more respect than anywhere else in India, including Kerala.
#5. Speaking English I have at home: I travel to experience what I don't have at home. I never "expect" another country to speak my native language.
#6. One of the best laughs I ever had in India, having dinner with locals in Madurai: I said "Kerala is for western tourists who would rather be in Thailand than India"
#7. I love Tamil Nadu, I've been there twice and I hope to go back again.

Experience is such a subjective thing, isn't it?
#14 Feb 7th, 2009, 22:19
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  • Boston123 is offline
#14
As I was born in Kerala and spent many a summer vacation there, I believe Kerala is truly ' God's country' !! But jokes aside,I have lived in Delhi, for a good part of my school and college years, and found the differences to be night and day. I think the weather, abundant rainfall, greenery, high levels of literacy, narrower levels of income disparity, and the matriarchal family structure in some parts( which I think has contributed to a greater respect for women, not only within families, but in the public arena) make living and visiting Kerala a different( not necessarily better) experience. In general, people seem to be more comfortable with who they are ( self acceptance), and not too anxious about the impression they make upon others. Have lived in Chennai as well, and agree there are beautiful places there too. Both places have learnt one thing about dealing with western tourists( that Delhi and others have yet to) : Give tourists their 'space', and don't come on too strong.
#15 Aug 23rd, 2009, 13:26
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  • CindyIndie is offline
#15
It's absolutely freakin' A M A Z I N G, isn't it!! Love your post, I gobbled it up, hungry for your India stories. Am going back for trip 2 in Jan. CAN'T WAIT!!
My photography, travel tales in India & the UK and living in Alaska: http://cstimson.byethost18.com/ My gallery at dA http://cinthiastimson.deviantart.com

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