So I’m off to India on Wednesday. I dread the incoming and outbound flights, but I’m really excited.
The place I’m going (Chandigarh) is going to be hotter than a motherfucker — hotter than Vegas is now, and really humid.
I have to buy new shorts, since all of my shorts are so big now that they literally fall off me, even with a belt on. Other than that, clothes-wise, I’m taking basic jeans, a bunch of sleeveless t-shirts and a few light cotton overshirts, and a sport coat just in case.
Electronics are the usual: laptop, iPod, still and DV cameras, phone. I may actually take a microphone and my old FireWire 410 audio interface to do some field recording of jungle sounds and shit — I’m guessing, based on the pictures I’ve seen, that Chandigarh is in the jungle — but other than that, I’m keeping it hella light.
But I’ve never been to India, so if you have any recommendations for stuff you think I ought to take, put ’em in the comments. Anything you think I might not be expecting.
And yes, I know not to drink the water. (I don’t even know if that’s really true, and I’m one of the small percentage of humans on the planet for whom a nice bout of dysentery might actually be a good thing, but I’m still not taking chances.)
Let ’em rip.
A friend of mine has been to India a few times.
Indians are unlikely to wear shorts in public, they consider them underwear. You’ll probably get slack for being a foreigner, but if you want to keep a low profile some light trousers would be a good idea.
I think the water thing is true. Also important is to wash your hands before you eat, and after being out and about, just like your mother taught you. One billion people + dodgy sanitation means every surface you touch is probably trying to give you something gastro-intestinal (traditionally, you eat with your fingers, but only your right hand). It sounds like the food is safe enough, though, even the roadside stall stuff. Or rather, you’re no less likely to get sick eating “Western” food in a restaurant.
Oh, and go for Indian-style coffee rather than faux-Italian (which will still be made with Indian beans, apparently, and therefore be undrinkable).
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