Why I hate travelling in India

#1 Jun 23rd, 2005, 13:34
Join Date:
Dec 2004
  • 50sQuiff is offline
I'm three months in with three to go and at this mid-way point there are some things I need to get off my chest. Let this be a warning to anyone considering travelling to India:

Don't visit the cities: I'm getting sick and tired of visiting some of the most inspiring and vibrant places in the world and having to leave them again and again. Just when I begin to feel comfortable, my visa and budget dictate I must move on.

Don't visit the stunning beaches, hill stations or seaside towns: Every time I begin to really soak up the atmosphere and feel truly at ease, I have to leave. Hell just don't visit anywhere, because it's painful falling in love with places and having to leave them every week.

Do not visit any historical sites: if you have a particular interest in the history of Empire, on no account visit India. If you live and breath History and have a degree in the subject you're in big trouble. India will overwhelm you and there's never enough time to see everything you would like to - trivial things like food and water just keep getting in the way. If you have a companion, you're going to bore them senseless. Better play it safe and not bother.

Don't travel by train: Engaging in some of the most poignant and insightful conversations with an array of fascinating characters, sharing homemade food with families, watching the glorious countryside roll by... then it's a handshake, 'nice to meet you', wiggle of the head and they're off into the crowd. You'll leave so many great people in India, it can get you down.

Don't eat from the street: that Kathi roll in Kolkata the most succulent and tasty thing you've eaten all year? Forget it, that wallah is going to have moved his pitch tomorrow and you're never going to eat one that good again. Was that uttapam you ate in a backstreet dhaba in Varanesi the best thing to ever come off a hotplate? Well tough, because you don't stand a cat in hell's chance of finding it again. You'll eat some of the single most delicious food in the world in India... once. Just use your Lonely Planet and stick to Pizza and save yourself the frustration.

Don't read the papers, watch TV, attend any performances, read any contemporary literature, visit any galleries: In short, do not engage in Indian culture or politics. If you do so, you run the risk of crossing a dangerous line - 'do I really want to go back home?' Stay in your room or you're in for a bout of serious existential discomfort. Don't get involved.

My final piece of advice is the most important and can save you a lot of heartache: don't talk to any other solo travellers. A chance encounter when two people from distant countries, with even more distant lives momentarily collide can end in tears. Sure, plans can be changed but money runs out, visas expire, flights are booked and radically different lives must continue, in different languages and different different lands. If you meet someone special, who you are simply never going to see again, prepare to curse life and wonder why you bother. Play it safe - don't talk to strangers. Only travel with people you know and don't make any new friends.

And please don't take your camera. Even if you manage to get over all the above, you don't want to go and bring back all the memories do you?
#2 Jun 23rd, 2005, 13:41
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Feb 2004
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50sQuiff, you're a poor guy, I really pity you

thanks for that funny read early in the morning
#3 Jun 23rd, 2005, 13:53
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Oct 2004
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Thumbs up

Great post man!!!!
I should not say it is a lifetime experience that you had. I am also not telling you that you are fortunate enough to claim - “I’ve traveled and found the real India”. But definitely going to say – congratulations, enjoy and come back soon.

- Somnath
#4 Jun 23rd, 2005, 14:07
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Mar 2005
  • Indojingai is offline
Sir, thats a nice post.
If I decipher correctly, you dont really hate travelling in India.

If not, did you miss the air conditioning.

I need your clothes, your boots and your motorcycle.
#5 Jun 23rd, 2005, 15:09
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  • 50sQuiff is offline
Of course, I'll only ever wave at rural, village India from the door of a train. But I am enjoying what I am able to engage with.
#6 Jun 23rd, 2005, 15:17
Prof. Lionel Aranha Future Member

What a Post!!!!!!!!! Great!
#7 Jun 23rd, 2005, 15:42
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Apr 2004
  • lonelyaztec is offline
Nice post.
So, when r u comin back again.
Next time go to Andamans and Lakshadweep..if u have not been there. U did not mention islands in ur write up.
#8 Jun 23rd, 2005, 15:50
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Nov 2004
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This post is one of the best I've read on Indiamike - and I never miss a day unless I'm in India. The only thing I haven't done is visit the stunning beaches, so thanks for the advice. I don't need THAT memory on top of all the others! Thanks for taking the trouble to write this post - I JUST LOVE IT!!
PS. I'm so glad you mentioned reading the papers, watching TV, attending performances (thanks to you, Vinay, in case you happen to be reading this!). I'm always torn between being inside or outside in Delhi.
#9 Jun 23rd, 2005, 16:09
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Apr 2005
Ireland (its too cold!)
  • ruthie808 is offline
Great post 50's! I plan to 'not' do all of that! hee hee.

6 months to go....
#10 Jun 23rd, 2005, 16:33
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nice post
#11 Jun 23rd, 2005, 16:39
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  • Nick-H is offline
Nice one, 50s... Just one thing I can add:

Don't spend several months here. Imagine facing going back to your cold, wet miserable, expensive country afterwards
Life gets aadhar every day.
#12 Jun 23rd, 2005, 16:57
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  • SHIMLA is offline
A wonderful way of putting it, 50sQuiff ! The next time you visit India, make sure its as an expat and not as a tourist !
Whoever said money can't buy happiness didn't know where to shop !
#13 Jun 23rd, 2005, 17:08
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Bangalore !!!
  • BangaloreDancer is offline


Wow !!!
What a beautiful declaration of love for Mother India !!!
#14 Jun 23rd, 2005, 17:28
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50's Quiff, Great post, BTW welcome to the crowd

….also don’t drink Chai. You’ll get addicted to.
It’s lethal than alcoholism
#15 Jun 23rd, 2005, 17:37
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Dec 2004
Murphy's Creek (Oz)
  • Dino is offline
50'sQuiff,well said mate !! Can't wait to hear what else you hate after your next three months.

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