Prep for India has hit full force.
I've started my pre-departure rituals, put away my American crap (mostly), and laid out possible outfits on my tiny couch.
Preparing for "travel" is a little different than preparing for a trip home to America. I still take fiber and drink water like a maniac, but there are a few differences when you are going to "rough it" for several weeks. I take off my nail polish, start wearing less make up to help my skin adapt to the air and to help me adapt to showing the world my au natural self, and wean myself off caffeine. Yesterday I had none, this morning it was a cup of instant coffee. I'm sure we will have access to tons of caffeinated delights in India, but I don't want to need anything. When you are not in a familiar environment, it is better to be free from all routines and addictions.
All I have left in the body prep department is a good deep condition of my hair since I don't know how often it is getting washed in the next few weeks and a final shave. (I judge anyone who takes time to shave their legs while trekking India, ha).
I'm also taking a lot of "quiet time" for myself. I want to finish a book I'm reading on my kindle before I leave and I am trying to bank as much rest and solitude as I can since I just came off a trip from America and will not be alone for the next 3 weeks. I want to go into this trip with a decent patience storage and a stable, calm mind, so I am re-charging during this week. It's going well.
Last night we had dinner with an Indian dude who is from outside of Calcutta but lives in Delhi now. He's studying Chin.ese and will work as a Ch.inese expert at the embassy in Delhi when he leaves here. Cool, huh?
We took him to a noodle dinner and bombarded him with ignorant questions like, "how should we transfer money - from RMB or USD?" "should Jessica cover her hair?" "will we get attacked for being American at the Pakistan/India border closing ceremony?" "What food should we definitely eat?" "Where do you barter?" and my personal favorite, "How do I find an Indian sugar daddy?"
He was really helpful, giving us names of people all along our route and telling us some little nuiances like - buy a chain to chain up your luggage on the train, offer a taxi driver 50 rupees over the meter and he won't over charge you too much, and, "no smooching in public." Um, no worries, dude. Ha.
Unless I find that sugar daddy.
It's so great to take to a native before heading off to a new place. I feel like so much of the travel advice on the internet is over-blown.
Im off to get my hair done and then a massage. Two very important parts of travel prep! ha.
This little guy keeps distracting me from my list of things to do!
I have 2 days to make all this crap fit into a backpack: