My time on the overnight train from Delhi to Jodhpur is not my favourite memory of northern India. It’s possibly my worst memory. My time on the overnight train from Delhi to Jodhpur felt like a hideous place I would never escape from. I was sandwiched in the middle bunk between two plastic mats – parallel to me was a heavy Indian man who only stopped snoring to cough; rasping toxic coughs that sounded like one of his lungs was being dragged from his insides out through his mouth.
Here’s what I learned:
- I’m not as tough as I thought
- Delhi Belly can strike anyone
- You can’t really do anything but ride it out
It seems like on the subject of India, the world is divided into two halves. The ones that can’t wait to get there, and the ones that absolutely, positively never want to go near the place.
“Keep your expectations low”, our tour leader kept saying on our latest adventure to India. I’m not sure if it was a ruse to ensure we were never disappointed, but it worked for me. I remained pleasantly surprised for most of the trip. From the transport and roads, to the hotels we stayed in, to the experiences we had, everything was either as I expected, or better. At least, when compared to what the trip had promised.
In an already busy year of visits and holidays, we had one last visitor to our town at the beginning of September, wedged between a trip to Crete and a holiday in India. At this time of year, the weather should be lovely… you would think. In the past we’ve often spent the first weekend in September in Italy, where it’s still warm enough to swim, but most of the crowds are gone.
Well… not this year. The weekend my friend Larry was with us saw it rain almost the entire time. Luckily she was fresh off the plane, hopped up with jetlag, and had been here before, so all she wanted to do was… well… whatever happens.