India - yay or nay?
Trip Start Jul 02, 2007
38Trip End Aug 03, 2007
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This niggling insidious little thought has been bothering me a lot in the past week.
To humour it, I picked a destination: India. Mainly because I possess a guide book that I've never used - hey, that's a good enough reason, right?
And then Himachal Pradesh/Ladakh because it's one of the few places in the country not so affected by the south-west summer monsoon.
I mean, what's not to like? Mountains, scenery, new cultures, toy trains and groovy food.
From my other shoulder came the voice of the opposition: a) must get a job!! b) have no money! and c) no-one to go with!
So - India: yay or nay?
We have a result:
Today, after a moment of flailing indecision, I bought a flight to India.
Considering the whole concept only occurred to me a matter of days ago, this is by far the most spur-of-the-moment trip I've ever conceived. Previous trips involved at least 3 months planning in advance. Sure, during the trip we make it up as we go along, but we always have a vague itinerary and things like visas and tickets are sorted well before departure.
But this? This is kinda crazy. Especially as I'm going out alone, hoping to meet up with someone I don't really know [though I can vouch for him being very trustworthy and nice] who is currently in India and incommunicado. It may not happen, in which case I really am alone. Relatively anyway - first rule of solo travel: you are never alone.
Parents are mostly calm about it - they are used to my itchy feet by now. However, they must be the only parents in the world who are all blasť about me going to Africa and worried about India instead. Now I've told them I won't be going to Jammu and Kashmir they are happier [Ladakh is excluded from the danger area despite being in J&K state]. Fair point, I suppose.
Grandma on the other hand...what a stress-head! Mind you, this is the lady who, 5 years ago, warned me about piranhas in the Chao Phraya River in Bangkok. As if I would go swimming in it anyway - I don't want dysentery! And piranhas? Honestly?
Anyway, now there's going to be a mad week of preparation - visas, buying stuff, moving my stuff from uni back home, cancelling my dentist appointment... argh, I'm insane, right?!
But it'll be totally awesome. Yes.
Post trip authors note:
Cancelling a dental appointment knowing that my wisdom tooth is infected, and instead going to India, sounds bloody stupid, I realise. But hear me out.
I went to the dentist in the first place because of the wisdom tooth. He confirmed what I could already feel with my tongue: the little bugger was growing out toward my cheek. Not a bad impaction in the grand scheme of things, but still, why can't it just grow straight?
The appointment I cancelled was for another non-urgent dental issue - a general clean and polish since I'm a new patient.
As for the wisdom tooth, I was on antibiotics at the time and told to let it settle and come back in "6 to 12 months". Upon hearing that, I assumed it wasn't serious. Post-antibiotics, it appeared to clear up and only flared again once I was committed to the trip, with e-ticket and visa in hand. I was still under the impression that I was fairly set for at least the next month or three.
How wrong was I? But then, hindsight is 20/20. As a precaution I did take another course of antibiotics with me - a move that saved the trip, and possibly even my life, since the untreated infection could have spread to my chest. Chest infection + trekking + high altitude = beaucoup bad shit. So, good call, taking some extra!
All's well that ends well, and I'm very glad I went.