It’s only just dawned on me that I haven’t mentioned my recent trip to India on here even once!  So now I shall!

For those who want pics, the facebook pages are public:

Delhi

Madras

Cochin

Nilgris Hills Mountain Railway

Coonoor

Trichy

Goa

Bonus Round(!)

Peruse at your leisure!

So why India?  Simple, because it’s where my Dad was born and grew up.  This trip has been on our family’s todo list for a very long time.  I’m glad we managed to get it in now, ’cause I’m not convinced it’s gonna be as feasible in years to come.

India is not the kind of place you forget in a hurry.  It’s just so in your face, and that’s just the street vendors!  What was saddening was the ludicrous levels of both the poverty and the corruption.  There, money does an awful lot of talking – mostly at you.  The problems there are so deep rooted, I’m not sure how you would even begin to address them, mostly because they’re an accepted part of the culture.  For example, one person we met routinely bribes the local police so that he doesn’t pay any taxes on his homemade wine business.  It’s just what you do….

I have to say, I felt a little let down by the scenery (with the notable exception of the Nilgris Hills – they were gorgeous!), there’s an awful lot of nothing in the wilderness.  Also, you have an aversion to dirt, you won’t like India.  I’m pretty they haven’t got a word in Tamil/Urdu/etc.  for sanitation.

That said, I’m totally glad I went.  It really is a place that has to be seen to be believed.  I did often feel like I was an intruder in a dream.  Also, they sections of our trip where we saw my Dad’s old haunts were terrific.  The trip also brought home to me that holidays are about being together (no matter how stressful it is), and it’s the people who you share an experience with that make that experience worth having.

That said, I do look forward to the days when I’m taking my wife and kids on holiday, rather than being the kid.  I’m sure I’ll rue that statement one day, but for now it’s the truth… 🙂

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