Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thankful in India :: The Top Ten

I hope you all have enjoyed this series as much as I have. For me, it brought back good times and many laughs my husband, mother-in-law and I have had over the years. We love recounting these stories and giggling about some of the situations and characters we met along our travels.

When we planned the trip, I remember looking at my husband saying "we have to take your mom."  And I'm so glad she agreed to come with us. I can not image this trip without her. I am one of those lucky people who actually like their mother-in-law. And no I don't have to say that as she doesn't read my blog unless I send her a link.

Ok let's get to the list; shall we? I'm going to do this David Letterman style and start with 

#10. Peaceful [Paid] Gardens: when you are traveling as a tourist there are times when the solicitation can be overwhelming and you just need a reprieve.  Try a pretty place with a small admission and you'll find yourself alone in no time. Exactly what we did when we were being followed around town by a network of children trying to sell us photographs they had taken of us earlier in the day. 

#9. Restaurants with Food: one restaurant we stopped at literally had no food, but they had us run through the entire menu before admitting it. They did suggest running down the road to see if they could find some eggs? We decided it was best to push on to our next destination.

#8. Electricity: India's infrastructure is not growing at the same rate as it's population's. One big problem is the need for expanded electricity capacity. We experienced plenty of black outs and were caught in complete darkness (several times) in the middle of dinner at a local restaurant.

#7. Tea Done Right: nowhere in the world is tea done better, in my opinion. And if you want Chai, you've got to try it the way it's done in India. My favorite place to buy loose tea is Peet's, which you can find online. And if you want to try your hand at authentic Chai try this blog with walk through directions.

#6. Traveling Laundry: there is a good chance that when you are traveling for more than 2 weeks you will need to do laundry (unless you are traveling with a steamer trunk and have plenty of clean underwear). When you are in India you send it out. And it ends up getting washed by a vast network of local workers who beat your clothes up against the rocks, hang it, sometimes from the trees, and then press it and return your laundry to your hotel. We were so incredibly thankful not to see our laundry hanging from any trees, and that every piece sent out returned to us. 

#5. Western Bathroom Amenities: while I wanted to do an entire post on this topic, my husband begged suggested I not. But there is an episode of me being taught how to use a Turkish toilet on a moving train by my mother-in-law, which is worth a giggle if you haven't already read this post. As much as I loved my trip to India, I do have to say that I was extremely happy for my American bathroom upon our return.

#4. Trains Doors with Locks: yep, same train ride noted above. There are apparently several things to keep in mind when taking an overnight train in India. The main one is buying the entire sleeper car compartment and making sure it has a locked door.

#3. Gentle Large Animals: we saw many large animals while in India, but I am happy to report that those that I ended up eye to eye with were actually quite gentle. Thank goodness since one elephant was standing behind me in the market.

#2. Our Guide Sharma: we were so lucky to be matched up with our guide that we all adopted into our family while traveling in India. He was good to us, and really watched out for us. He also taught me a few things about how to look at life through a different lens. I was quite thankful to have met him.

#1. My Mother-in-Law: my number one, hands down reason to be thankful while traveling in India was my mother-in-law. It was amazing to see the country through her eyes, and to hear her tell the stories of her childhood. It was a once in a lifetime trip for us, and I am so glad we did this, with her.

I do have one other thing to be thankful for today. November 22, the birthday of my baby who is 10 years old today. Happy Birthday Anne. I am so thankful to have the pleasure of being your mom. What are you thankful for today? 


Jacquelineand.... said...

Happy Birthday to Anne, what a beautiful young lady. Have a joyful Thanksgiving!

Duni said...

I loved your India series, Cynthia! I think I missed the train episode - must catch up on that! It is always good to travel with people who are "in the know" about the country. I would have loved to have met the gentle elephant :)
And happy, happy Birthday to Anne!
What a darling picture of her :)
Happy Thanksgiving to all!

Plowing Through Life (Martha) said...

Awwww...sweet. Happy birthday to your daughter. That is something to be thankful for.

What a great post. This is a great series, and I've enjoyed reading about India, and your experiences. I am quite fascinated by this country and wish I could see it up close.

Have a blessed Thanksgiving!

BeadedTail said...

Happy Birthday Anne! Happy Thanksgiving to all of you too! I enjoyed your India series and see some I need to go back and read! :)

Mama Zen said...

Happy Birthday, Anne!

New End Studio said...

These are the best travel posts, where the realities of foreign places and your adaptability make you laugh and appreciate so many things.

Happy Birthday to Anne!

Marcela Gmd said...

That wonderful experience, dear friend!!!
Have a wonderful weekend! and my G+...

Besos, desde España, Marcela♥

Miss Val's Creations said...

I love this recap Cynthia! You have definately described how it is the trip of a lifetime. Your mother in law must have loved it!!!! I am sure the toilet experiences for quite unpleasant!

Happy birthday to Anne! My niece is 10 and it is such a great age. She is a lady now with her own sense of style. So cute!

memoriesforlifescrapbooks said...

Great recap! This sounds like a most wonderful trip!
Happy (belated) Birthday to Anne :)

Sarah~Magnolia Surprise said...

Nos. 4 and 5 are hysterical!! What a difference in countries!

Christine Altmiller said...

love the Top Ten rundown! i do think you should do a whole post of bathroom facilities, but i am just that kind of sickie, i guess ;-)
Happy Birthday to your Daughter!!! Hope she enjoyed her day :-D

Katie Corley said...

Love this post! So much to be thankful for in this country. Heard about your blog from your friend at "Life on Peanut Layne" Now following you on GFC and Linky. If you would like to follow back you can find me at
Thanks for this post!
Katie Corley

pRiyA said...

Wow, you've seen India more than I have and as I read through I wondered how you went through it all. I can travel halfway across the world alone, but not yet the North of India (except 3 days in Delhi escorted everywhere by a friend). I think you have an incredibly positive and adventurous spirit and I admire that a lot.

Pamela Baker said...

I have some wonderful, memorable stories about my visits to India. Mainly we traveled all throughout the South of India and Goa which was beautiful.
Yes, I have some very funny stories about my first using the "hole in the ground"!

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