India Recap!

To all of my blogger friends: Thank you for understanding how difficult it was for me to be away from my blog for an entire month.

251_zpsf46a5ba7There are no words that will adequately capture India’s beauty. This country is home to a wonderfully vibrant culture. I was in the state of Rajasthan, the textile capital of India, and it undoubtedly lives up to its name. There is color everywhere and traffic is crazy! We shopped at bustling markets and bought the most lively scarves, shoes, and jewelry. We got ripped off a few times. There are no lanes and traffic lights are mere suggestions. The primary mode of transportation is the “auto rickshaw,” which is a three wheeled golf cart-like vehicle whose drivers are fearless. My first auto ride was facing oncoming traffic. Coolest experience of my life. Don’t ever trust a rickshaw driver when he says he knows where he’s going. Hindi is a very interesting language and is accompanied by what I would like to call “the head bob.” Anytime one asks a yes or no question, he must prepare himself for a noncommittal shake of the head and the subsequent confusion. I also learned the art of using a Turkish-style toilet, also known as a squatty potty. These squatties are not toilet paper friendly so make sure to carry toilet paper and a trash bag wherever you go. I never knew that the simple act of using the restroom could be such an experience.

Perhaps the oddest phenomenon is the extreme gap between wealth and poverty. Driving down a city street, you can see a beautiful house right next to a slum in which people sleep on concrete slabs. That said, we did visit an absolutely gorgeous castle in Jaipur. The secret passageways, the innumerable balconies, and the life teeming within the palace are so inspiring for an aspiring writer! From the moment I entered the palace, I felt the life that existed so long ago within its walls. Our last day in Rajasthan, we visited a monkey temple and were able to feed the monkeys from the palm of our hand! Who knew monkeys had fingernails like us! Call me ignorant, but I sure didn’t.

DSCN0225The culture and the history and the life within Rajasthan were amazing, but I will never forget the evil that we encountered. An ancestor’s role in the times of royal rule determines peoples’ occupations and caste. If one’s great grandmother was a dancer in the king’s court, she grows up being told that she’s good for nothing but prostitution. If one’s great grandfather was a king’s weapon-maker, he is born into a gypsy community that believes they are under a curse because their weapons failed to bring the king’s victory. The list goes on and on. The culture’s beauty is, in some ways, a façade that covers the fear and darkness underneath. Nevertheless, I will never forget India and hope to go back again one day.

Thank you for sticking with me during my blog hiatus! If you have any questions (please have questions), I will be ecstatic to answer them. Comment or email me. Let me gush about India some more!

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-coffeeshopreader

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India – Adventure and Blog Hiatus

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old woman

I cannot believe it’s here! By this time in two days, I will be in India. Yes, India. As I’ve never left the country, this trip marks a milestone in my life. The culture is so beautiful and colorful and rich–I don’t know how I’ll keep up! I will be working with victims of human trafficking. This next month will involve some of the most rewarding and some of the most difficult moments in my life. From riding an elephant to buying fruit in an overwhelming market, this June will be teeming with adventure.

Sadly, I will not have access to the internet while in India, which means no blog postings for a month! *Insert crying here.* I absolutely love blogging and book reviewing, so I will be taking notes, pictures, and drinking in all of my experiences in India (minus the squatty-potties) for my next few blog postings, which I will upload promptly upon returning to the States.

Lastly–and you can take this as a simple request or as what it really is: me on my knees BEGGING you to stick with me–I won’t post for a month, but all of the amazing stories, sights, sounds, culture, etc that I will post afterwards will be worth it.

Sincerely,

A Bittersweet Blogger Who Will Miss This Very Much For The Next Month

also known as

CoffeeShopReader

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