Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Well D Day has arrived and today I go to India.

When I think of all the travelling I have done, especially recently, I don't know why I'm emotional before I even get there. I suppose it is because  my imagination has been filled with it from being in Mrs Bruce's class, aged 9 and being drawn to the magic of India by photos from National Geographic magazines. On top of that there is all the literature I've read and films and dramas I've seen ( been re- watching the fabulous Jewel In The Crown.) And last, but not least, Indian food. Madhur Jaffrey has lived in my kitchen for about 30 years. 
So thoughts of India have long been in my head and I've always been captivated by the idea of it. I just want to love it as much in reality, but know I might not.  So feel excited and nervous, in equal measure, not helped by there being whole lists of Dos and Don'ts.  Just as I was writing these words, an e mail popped up with that very title, forwarded from Hannah's Indian colleague, giving us some concerned last minute advice. " Make sure water is opened in front of you" etc etc. We're going to be there while they celebrate Holi too which carries its own set of rules for travellers. " Take old clothes, in bright colours."

On one hand, you just want to go with the flow, but you also need to orchestrate the experience more than for a normal holiday. I don't want to replicate the experience of a very well -travelled Louth friend, who came back traumatised, loathing India. So we are staying in carefully chosen hotels, having a car and driver for some of the trip. Hannah's banned me from going solo in Delhi on the days she is working. May or may not take notice, depending how I feel.

So lucky to be going with Hannah and being 'on the same page' - neither of us wants our trip to be a totally cocooned experience or why would we be going ?  We hope to take the 7 hour dawn train from Jaipur to Udaipur, the day before Holi on which sanitation could be a bit of a hurdle. We have packed a number of specialist items to assist us (well probably more me ) with that (The least said, the better!) 

About to set off. Watch this space !

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