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Topic: Cravings After a Year in India< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 08 2003, 8:21 am  Skip to the next post in this topic.    QUOTE

Now that I am in Delhi, and headed home after a year and more in India, I can look back at my year and things I miss. I know that when I've done long trails like the PCT or Colorado Trail, I've had cravings near the end. So, I decided to look at this.

What do I crave after a year in India?
The truth is that I really don't have any specific cravings, which is amazing. Other foreigners that I met in Leh who have been there even longer than I have have said the same thing, for the most part as well. But, I'll go through my mind to see what would be nice.

COMFORTS. I'll start here, because my #1 desire was here.
1. HOT SHOWER. This was my #1 craving at the end of the year. I've had nothing but cold water showers for a year, unless I've had a bucket bath with a scoop using an illegal water heater. But, today (in Delhi) I actually had a hot shower in my hotel room! Was nice, but I could have gone without when I think about it.
2. FAST INTERNET. People in this shop are complaining about the slowness of these computers. But, they have not been in Ladakh either. I feel like a burden is lifted off my back. This is VERY fast when compared with the 3-4 minutes between screens in Leh. I don't even have to have 4 websites going at the same time and "channel-surf." It will be nice to be in America with even faster computers.
3. HEAT IN THE HOUSE. I had a room heater in my room to take the chill off when it got to be minus 25 degrees. But, that was only for a month or two, and was tolerable. Central heat back home will be nice, but it is not something I really miss.
4. CONSISTANT POWER. We have power outages in America, just like we do here. Granted, they are not nearly as often. But, in America, they are unpredictable. In Leh, where I was living, we could count on a power cut at 7:15PM, another at 11:00PM, and sometimes in the morning between 4:00 and 10:00AM. Others happened, but no more often than in the states. I could live with that!
5. GOOD TELEPHONE. Telephones connections here are much worse than in the states. But, as I didn't have a telephone, it didn't matter. The few times I had to call outside Leh, it was tolerable to put up with. I don't miss the phone.
6. BATH. I've had one bathtub soak this year, in a 5-star hotel when my flight was cancelled. It was nice, but I could have gone without.
7. SERVICE PEOPLE. These are actually better than in the states. It is easy to find people to cut meat, shine your shoes, cut your hair, assist you in a shop, and other things. And, the quality is good, for the most part.
8. PUBLIC TRANSPORT. This too, is much better than in the states. Anywhere in India you can find transport to anywhere else cheaply and fairly fast. Granted, everything is much more crowded. But, you get where you want to go. The bus system in India makes a joke out of Greyhound in America. I NEVER had to wait more than twenty minutes for a bus going my direction. And, they will stop on the spot if you wave one down. Likewise, the Indian Railways makes a joke out of Amtrak. They move something like two million people a day, are mostly on time, and are cheap. Nothing is posted, though, and I was forever having to ask which platform my train was leaving from.
9. PERSONAL TRANSPORT. Okay, I do miss this one. After walking EVERYWHERE even when not on a trek, I found myself putting on a lot of extra miles this year. It is okay, but this last month it kind of got to me, because I was wasting a lot of time that I wouldn't have if I had a car to drive. Yes, I miss my pickup truck.
10. A MAID! This will be a reverse-craving. I paid $20 a month to have a lady cook and do laundry. I'm not going to find that in Colorado!!!!!!!

ENTERTAINMENT
1. TELEVISION. As long as I have been talking about channel-surfing, I'll go here next. I DON'T miss television, believe it or not. The few times I've gotten out to civilization and seen TV, I've seen enough to turn it off before I would have had to. The first time, it was the Bali bomb blast, another time it was the theatre hostages in Moscow, and last time I got out to civilization it was the Weapons Inspectors' reports that I watched. I've been purposely avoiding newspapers for the same reasons. This morning, I watched professional wrestling and an episode of the Brady Bunch. I do miss Jay Leno, though.
2. MOVIES. I don't miss these either. My last year in the states the list of new movies was limited to two that I really liked. When I get home, I'll watch more videos than theatre movies. That way I can choose what is playing! I do miss those, but don't crave them.
3. LIVE SPORTS. I was never much into these anyway. But, during my time here I got to see archery and polo, and they satisfied any interest in this area.
4. PARTICIPATING IN SPORTS. My main sport, of course, is backpacking. And, I've done much of that this year. But, as far as other sports go, I played both cricket and football (soccer) at school with my students. That was interesting. Back home, golf is about it. You should see the horrible golf course here. It is one huge sand trap with a reddish-black tar mix for the "greens."
5. CULTURAL EVENTS. Being a music teacher, missing these was one of my biggest fears. But, there were enough festivals in the monasteries with monks dressing up in masks and costumes and dancing. And, there were local festivals with the local Ladakhi dances and others. Almost every month I saw these. I don't miss my stuffy tux, and only wore a suit and tie once this year at my school's Parents' Day. A live symphony or opera will be nice back home, though. And, I miss playing in Western State's band and orchestra.

FOOD. This is the area that most people (including myself) miss on long hikes. I went the entire year without eating Western food, and don't miss much of it. I'll never have Indian, Tibetan or Kashmiri food as good as here, so I've been savoring every meal. I'll be raiding the Asian grocery store in Denver before heading home, and have 2 cookbooks ready to go. But, there are a few things that I missed and already satsified.
1. ORANGE CHEESE. All the cheese here is either processed or white. My friend Kurt, when he came out for the last trek, brought some with him.
2. SALTY PEANUT BUTTER. Kurt also brought this along. All the peanut butter here is too sweet.
3. FRUITS. Maybe I miss strawberries or blueberries or raspberries. But, my favorite fruit is mango, and I'll be gorging on them during my last week here, as the indian ones are the best in the world.
4. VEGETABLES. My favorites (peas, corn) are here already, as are potatoes, tomatoes, onions, etc. No cravings here.
5. SPICES. Much better here than in the states. I'm going to a spice market tomorrow and buy a BUNCH to take back home. I'm also going to use more ginger and garlic than I have in the past when I cook.
6. DRINKS. After having tea with everything, I can say that that is much better here than in the states. But, I prefer cold, sweet drinks. Thankfully, soft drinks and powdered and concentrate juice drinks were plentiful this year, except for the end of May before the roads opened again in June (they snowed shut in October).
7. BEEF. After living in India for a year and only having beef once (not counting the 2 times I had yak steak), I miss it a little. I don't miss the chain burger places, but would like to grill out burgers soon after I am home. And, being from Colorado, I will have a good steak. But, I don't crave it.
8. DESSERTS. Except for the tourists' German bakeries in Leh, desserts were pathetic here. I am already thinking about my mothers' desserts that she makes like her poppyseed tort, rhubarb kuchen, chocolate cake with the cherries and apple dumplings (Mom are you reading this?), as well as grandma's strawberry-rhubarb pie and squash pie.
9. SALADS. I do miss these some. Salad in India consist only of sliced onions, tomatoes and cucumbers and a lemon wedge to squeeze over these. A good lettuce salad will be nice; maybe at a Golden Corral buffet? Likewise, the Indian idea of "pickle" means very hot/spicy bits of chili or mango. A good dill pickle would taste great!
10. RESTAURANTS. I can think of two types that I miss. This does not count individual non-chain types. The first are the steak places like Sizzler, Ponderosa or Golden Corral that have salad bars. The other is Pizza Hut. Probably my number one craving at this point in time (not counting my pickup truck) is Pizza Hut. I walked by one yesterday in Delhi and passed it by in favor of my favorite Indian chicken place. I can wait one more week to satisfy this craving!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 08 2003, 4:29 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

burntfoot, I can't believe a year has passed already. I always enjoy reading of your adventures over there.

But, now, come on home, the Rockies are calling ya. Come on home and enjoy the things you've missed, but hang onto all those wonderful memories of India....

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”Every tree was dripping and the creeks had swollen. It occurred to me that I had achieved a rare thing: I was living at the center of my heart’s geography. And I knew it.”- Bryce Andrews, Badluck Way
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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 09 2003, 6:32 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic.    QUOTE

Thanks for the comments. I'm going to Jaipur for 3 days yet before I leave, because I want to see Rajahstan and the palace there. And, I'm gorging on masala meals, mangos and mango ice cream, because there is no way I'm going to find that in Gunnison, Colorado! VERY hot and humid in Delhi right now. I just got back from the spice market where I got a kilo of various spices and over a half kilo of teas. Total cost was under $10. Happy birthday, Dad!

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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 27 2006, 6:46 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic.    QUOTE

I'm bumping all of these India stories to the top, so they won't be lost when the new software kicks in.
Keith

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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 13 2014, 9:44 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE

I'm bumping all of these India stories to the top, so they won't be lost when the new software kicks in.
Keith


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