india outtakes

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02.20.2014 by Andrea

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I think I’ve mastered the art of the squat toilet. If that is too much information, I’m sorry. It’s a talent that I don’t think I can add to my resume but one I think I’m rather proud of. An art form for those of us who suffer from first world problems of never having to think of doing such a maneuver.

A bold introduction but necessary to gather my thoughts. This log is just snippets of the thoughts and sights gathering in my head from the trip thus far.

I’m floored to be honest. My neck feels a bit like I’m a bobblehead as I’m not really ascertain which direction to look at any given moment. This is the ultimate rubbernecking experience. The rickshaws averting collision with cows, goats, horses, cars, bicycles, scooters and/or pedestrians is amazing. The symphony of humanity and transportation moving along seamlessly is one I couldn’t conduct or orchestrate on my own even if I dreamt I could. One thing is for certain. There is no texting while driving out on these roads. All hands on wheel.

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I’m mentally debating whether riding in cars/rickshaws is like constantly playing chicken, and so far everyone has won [that I’ve witnessed], or if there is a market for a new video game. The Canadian ladies and I brainstormed this. It’s similar to Oregon Trail, rewards are assigned for different trials. Points for cattle dodging in streets, how many weddings you witness on a weekend, etc. I think we may be on to something. Thoughts?

Along the same lines, I think I can safely state that horns over shocks are a highly prized transportation necessity. You think you know honking in a city after residing in NY and then you realize it’s a whole different animal in India. Horns blaring may haunt my dreams for months to come. I’ll keep your apprised. Due note, I might have witnessed my life flashing before my eyes a few times [read: nearly every day on this trip, and I cop to being a bad driver in my day to day life], but the sound of the horns is like manna to my stomach. It’s nearly the only way survive the wild rides. Defensive driving in India requires horns. ’nuff said.

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Dehydration is winning. It’s better to have cottonmouth with fingers and toes that rival Lil’ Smokies when traveling in packs then to be THAT girl who has to go to the bathroom. It’s taken me back to family trips in the station wagon and waiting until the last minute to inform my Dad I had to go to the bathroom and then having to see how long I would have to “hold it.” In my humble opinion, I still have champion-esque bladder control. Like I said, dehydration wins.

Confession. Today, I littered, and it felt awful. It is the way. I’ve done a fairly good job of finding trash receptacles and gathering my rubbish in a bag to dispose of together. When I exited the bus a porter noticed a small bag in my hand. I had to follow the rules and drop it on the ground with other garbage. I still have a knot in my stomach and feel guilt ridden about it. Drat. Litter – 1, Me – Fail. Point me to the nearest Litterers Anonymous. Stat.

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It’s the Real World, India. Put 13 people in a group for 15 days and suddenly David Letterman’s top 10 lists have nothing on us. We have spiritedly compiled best of global brands, buildings, cities, bands, athletes and living persons [to name a few] as we amuse ourselves during long periods on trains or busses. There are several opinions to say the least and we all have a voice. Things are about to get real as there are more lists to compile.

I overpacked. I’ve been wearing/rotating the same two outfits for the past 9 days. I’ve showered more often than when I’m home but admire the couple that brought a hand carried pack with them. They are traveling for 9 weeks this way and my back would certainly have appreciated the thoughtfulness. #putsmetoshame

I recall going and building homes for communities in Mexico when I was a teen and then arriving back on American soil and realizing the size of the house we had just constructed could fit in my parents kitchen. The reality of how I thought in the past 18 months I had pared down quite a bit to minimalist living is slapping me in the face. Less is more. I’ve still got a ways to go

Chai. Masala Chai to be exact. Our guide has us sampling this special-tea [yup, my sense of humor is still intact] and now I think I’m a burgeoning connoisseur. My discerning palate can now identify the difference when a chai is lacking ginger, goats milk, or the perfect amount of sweetness. I’m getting spoiled. It’s like eating fresh salamis in Italy. How do you back and eat/sample what you thought is great in the States? Sometimes being a bumbling novice in the dark is better than tasting the best. Oy.

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I’m accumulating a lexicon of international phrases and words to use upon my return. Watch out.

The world is shrinking. I’m able to retrieve emails, FaceTime, and blog with relative ease. My travel roommate is disconnected and wireless. She doesn’t want to be on holiday checking in and at the same time I think love the connectivity. It’s mind boggling to think all of us, who were strangers a week ago, will be able to utilize Dropbox and share pictures with one another at the click of a button. It’s a fine balance, unplug or stay afloat of all the goings on. I’m mentally debating the pros and cons of both.

For a country this mammoth and with the many inhabitants, my theories on odors and crowdedness have been blown. It all has worked together, quite seamlessly. If I do say so myself.

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Speaking of air, it must be acting as a hallucinogen as I had one of my most vivid dreams to date, [read: in my lifetime], where I was taking Princes William and Harry school supply shopping and debating the merits of ink pens. I’ve only had a limited amount of beer since stepping foot into India and on the hunt for the perfect India Pale Ale. I mean, when in India…

Sidenote. Speaking of beer. BB and I finalized our venture name. It took a lot of work, but we searched high and low and we’ve set it into motion. Introducing, a black and tan. In the twitterverse we are @ablackandtan as well as on Instagram too. We are partial owners/investors in a GoPro and are hoping for an official launch this spring. Currently we are in soft rollout phase.

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That’s all for now. Certainly not an exhaustive list, I’m sure more pondering to come. I’m on the quest for a cold pint, or a cow wandering the streets, [I still haven’t tired of that sight yet], cheers.

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