Sunday, July 31, 2011

The Warning Quote for Visitors

It's been over a year since my first and only post. I figured it was time to see if my editor would allow another addition. John finally relented.

India is ‘an assault on your senses’ and accurately describes initial reactions to the country. No amount of preparation can do it justice which is one more reason that we feel so fortunate that many family and friends have (or are planning) to venture here and experience this little adventure with us.

As we prepared for another round of visitors in June, Anne, John’s sister, and her husband were first up. While we knew they were excited to come, we also knew this was going to be quite the new experience for them.

With just over a week to see India, there isn’t a lot of time for ‘easing’ someone in and they were game. Their first day was some light shopping and sightseeing before we jumped all-in on day two with old Delhi in the peak of summer’s heat and humidity. Old Delhi is an amazing, jarring set of sights. We started our six hour day with Red Fort, a bicycle rickshaw ride, headed to Jama Masjid, then old small winding lanes full of crowds, Karim’s for ‘authentic’ Indian fare, more bicycle rickshaws, the Spice Market, and finally one last bicycle rickshaw ride.

This is when I wondered if India was more than they bargained for and the quote of the trip (and probably our whole experience) was born.

Going to the bathroom can become difficult and you have to be strategic. After a fantastic lunch at Karim’s where Anne’s face said it all as she looked at the food soaking in oil and only got better when she made the required bathroom break. I went first and found things to be just fine: basically a teeny tiny room (maybe four foot by three) with just enough room for the porcelain hole in the ground. There wasn’t even space for a sink; it was outside and commonly shared with the boys. It was clean so I didn’t even think anything of it. Anne went in after me and quickly returned; a little too quickly.

I probed “You didn’t go, did you?” Her response? “There isn’t any toilet paper!” My response? “It’s India…bitch” while stifling a giggle on the final word. She sheepishly looked at me and went back, knowing this was her best and cleanest chance for the day.
And so it became the quote of their trip. Once the quote was shared on the trek, it became the quote of that trip (even used by our guide Sanjeev). It was shared with a co-worker who was over from the states who spent time touring with her husband. Legend has it that it became the quote of that trip.

It’s now the first and standard response by either of us when we deal with some trivial adversity or something otherwise frustrating. Future visitors, get ready. It’s India, bitch.


  1. oh Lindsay, that was hysterical! Love the quote and your rendition of its beginning! Would love to meet you two some day :)