India is a lovely country.
What do I love about it? The colors are marvelous. The people are beautiful, graceful and warm. The food is great. The cities are a crazy patch-work of people, animals, and vehicles. The country is a heady mixture of the very old and the very new.
You feel safe walking around Mumbai or Kolkata – cities that are quite “foreign” in look and feel to American cities. Although to someone who has seen other Third World cities, the culture shock is not so – shocking.
I had always known that when I visited India I would find so many lovely things to buy that I would certainly run out of money before I ran out of the desire to shop....and of course, this was so. The fabrics! The embroideries! The table linens and curtains! The bedspreads and pillow covers! The jewelry...The bronze figures of deities...I wanted them all...
The super-luxury hotels have wonderful restaurants. They’re expensive all right, but you can have a drink or dine there for less than it would cost you at home in a similar place. The Taj Mahal Palace in Mumbai and the Oberoi Grand in Kolkata were two favorites.
Travelling the world is the best education. It makes you that much more appreciative of what you have; makes you more compassionate; makes you realize you waste too much, buy too much, consume too much. And it opens your heart to new people, places and cultures.
India is much more than I can ever explain, and I am certain that although I plan many more trips there, I will never capture "India." There is too much. It is larger than life. I encourage you to experience it for yourself.
‘Til next time.