Category Archives: Backpack

From white to gold – A short trip to Amritsar

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From white to gold – A short trip to Amritsar

We planned to go to Amritsar on the bus the day after arriving in the temple. And Baba Ji’s helpers/temple keepers insisted on helping us get there, we were relieved. Travelling in India is to quote the locals ‘not possible’. Read the rest of this entry

Being homeless.

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Being homeless.

I hang my head in shame desperate not to make eye contact. What if she finds out? I’ve grown to quite like Gemma and I think she’s fond of me too. But this could be the end for us. If she learns my sordid little secret she’ll pack up (which is conveniently done already) and leave.

“Have you got any washing?” She asks as she picks up a pair of my pants off the bed. My pants which I’ve been wearing for over a week. Read the rest of this entry

The shocking truth about Agra…

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The shocking truth about Agra…

Below me an elderly Indian woman is snoring so loud she’s stopping me from sleeping. I’ve already got up her nose (like so much mucus seems to be doing right now) because when her family were in our sleeper carriage seats on the train from Agra to Jaipur, I asked them to move. And although I reckon I eased the situation by chatting to her grandson I don’t want to annoy her further by, say, rolling her. And anyway, that’s probably a violation or something.

Gemma and I are both covered head to toe in green, red, yellow and blue paint from something resembling the Hindu Holi festival. This makes us look dirty for the train, but in reality it’s probably just covering up the undeniable fact that right now, we smell. We’ve not slept properly for 40 hours and the next few days show no signs of letting up. Read the rest of this entry

Positive travel in India

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Positive travel in India

Travelling in India is well renowned for being, shall we say, challenging. And as the third most dangerous place to travel as a female of the western variety, it can sometimes be difficult seeing the good side.

That’s why I’ve been mentally compiling this list of ‘positives’. Read the rest of this entry

Travelling with a whitey in India

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Travelling with a whitey in India

Gemma is the earth. And I am the moon. Naturally I seem to gravitate towards her, although it’s only in India where I have to rotate around her too, in an attempt to stop people staring. Disapproving or lustful staring.

Before we came to India, Gemma and I read up on Indian tradition, their culture and the biggest religions in order to be respectful and to fit in. There were certain things we read which, although questionable to our Western culture, we wanted to learn about. In line with respecting Indian culture, Gemma has been dressing very conservitavely covering her shoulders, legs, and sometimes her head. Despite this Gemma gets stared at by about 45% of Indian men in India. Some stares are curious, some are sexual, and some are simply disapproving. It is both uncomfortable and infuriating. Read the rest of this entry

Varanasi… and the need for a lassi

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Varanasi… and the need for a lassi

Varanasi wakes at 4am. A few beggars wander the streets before the rush. Local Hindus say a prayer to one of the 36,000,000 gods they worship. Excited pilgrims rush down to Mother Ganga to wash, brush their teeth and drink the sacred waters. And as the sun slowly rises, Gemma and I mutter a few grumpy swear words because we’re still here. Read the rest of this entry

Sometimes you need a montage…

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Sometimes you need a montage…

You know the other day when you were saying “I wish I could watch a montage of Tim and Gemma in Nepal’s Chitwan jungle to a backing track of an unknown Nepalese street band”? Well today’s your lucky day… Read the rest of this entry

Dear diary: crossing the border at Sunauli

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Dear diary: crossing the border at Sunauli

Today we arrived in India. It was much less hectic than arriving into Kathmandu, but then crossing over land generally is.

We decided to walk to the border – 4km in the sweltering heat, carrying approximately 25kg between us, just to avoid haggling. It was one of those days (you know the kind, where you don’t want to talk or think or deal with the swarms of touts all saying exactly the same price, but telling you their price is the best). Read the rest of this entry

In the jungle, in the in the jungle

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In the jungle, in the in the jungle

Relaxing with a couple of drinks looking out over Nepal’s Chitwan National Park gives you a feeling of tranquility. Nothing can go wrong – it’s just you and the moment. And man eating crocodiles. And blind, charging rhinos, wasps the size of testicles and I’m pretty sure I heard someone mention a tiger. But other than that. Carefree bliss. Read the rest of this entry