Indian and Vegetarian Tourist.

As a tourist, being a vegetarian sometimes is the biggest hassle. To accompany that ‘Brown’ skinned people are usually looked upon in a certain way. Over the years, travelling with fellow Indians and vegetarians, I have realized that we have specific needs and requirements. Plus the tourism industry is growing, Indians are taking to travelling more seriously. Thus, Giving me an opportunity to add sections for vegetarians and Indians in each of my post. I have tried to detail put the thought for the same. My apologies, but I have generalized the characteristics into a group. Might not be true, might be true, but I subscribe to it based on experience.

The Vegetarian Tourist. 
My wife – My vegetarian Inspiration
 
Before marriage, I was I can eat anything that moves (except Humans) kind of person. Marriage changed it, wife is a vegetarian to the extent that she cant see things being cooked. My mother, coming from the same thought process (non veg has never been historically cooked at my place), order me to get separate utensils if I intended to get my eating habits into the house. We Indians still believe in living with the parents at large. So thus, came the start of the struggle!! Becoming a vegetarian.

Having traveled to large parts of Europe and United Kingdom before, I very well knew what was on offer. So on our honeymoon to Greek islands, we had a bag full of what we call in India as Sukha Nashta, which roughly translates to Dry snacks which doesn’t get spoilt for days without refrigeration. It was a bag full of biscuits, papadums, and sweet and savoury snacks. I started the trip in disbelief. Only to thank my starts later on for the same. Over Zakynthos, Milos (the worst of the lot) and Santorini (the most commercial Greek Island) we struggled to eat two satisfactory meals. Only morning breakfasts were satisfying.
Coming to India, life is relatively easier. I remember a trip with my office colleagues to Goa. Being a beach destination, the first thing we tried was Sea Food and it was one of the most famous Goan destinations for Sea Food (Suaza Lobo at Calangute). To my horrendous surprise, my senior said that he didn’t enjoy the food as he didn’t get the North Indian, spices and flavors. Then a cousin gave me a similar reason for not enjoying the food in his Kerala trip, making me think. And to my surprise there are a lot of Indian who prefer eating what they eat at home, not wanting to try local cuisines. On the other hand I believe that even if it is vegetarian, you have to try the local cuisine, more often than not I have ended up enjoying it!.
The Indian Tourist. 
The section will have cliches, so my apologies to begin with.
My travel light partners.
  • We travel HEAVY.

As I pointed out above, we had just one bag for FOOD. I’m just waiting for the day we go for a trek and what I would do! But in all my travels, be it friends or family, there is something that is carried more than required. This also stems out of the fact that India is a country where porters, bell boys and taxi guys pickup your luggage at every point imaginable from stations, to pilgrim places. Most pilgrim places that are hard to reach where there are special arrangements on ponies for your luggage for treks of 10 – 20 kms. That is probably the toughest trek most Indians do in their lives.

I would certainly like to believe the scenario is changing as my friends circle is changing, in turn their friends circle is changing. So lets hope the younger generation ushers in a new era.
  • We don’t understand Queues.

We don’t wait in line even to pray. There also all sorts of shortcuts are available as per your pockets, and we are experts in finding them. The moment a chink is exposed in the armor of a snake queue we will create a bottleneck.  The same case is there on railway stations, airports and even bus stops. In India, there is a system of throwing your handkerchief in the state transport bus and where your handkerchief falls becomes your seat! With such privileges, why exactly would you want to stand in a Queue.

  • Public transport is only for Daily Commute.

Another Cliche, but on the last Kerala trip, I had a chauffeur driven (chauffeurs in India are cheap, so such us a very common practice) waiting outside the airport, while foreign tourists who traveled with me on the same flight took a bus and headed out. The head was a little hung in shame. In my defense, there is too much crowding and cramping in daily life, why get the same on a vacation? Especially in India, where the whole package comes for relatively cheaper.

With some of these things in background, I would be adding the Indian and Vegetarian sections to the blogs. There are a lot of things that I could add, but I don’t agree with those or scenario is changing.

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