Travelling India: Five lessons I learned the second time around


“Where are you headed next?”, asked the man, “Agra? Jaipur?”.

I was standing in the air-conditioned lobby of a hotel in Delhi as I got chatting with the older Indian man. He turned out to be a tour guide for a bunch of elderly western tourists. I turned out to be a big-headed idiot, but I didn’t know it then.

“No”, I said, feeling a little pleased with myself that we weren’t going to the Taj Mahal or the famous Pink City as did everyone else. “We’re going to Haridwar”.

The man gave me a quick look. “Are you going on a tour?”.

I laughed a little as I shook my head. “Nahh. Just the two of us”, I said, pointing towards Marvin who was waiting a few steps away.

“Well”, said the man and returned my smirk with a gentle smile, “seems like you’re diving head first into real India. Best of luck to you”.

“Are we gonna need it?”, I asked jokingly, if a bit startled – but he was already walking away, leaving me with just one of these indefinite head wiggles for an answer.

If only I’d known how right he was.

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