Thursday, December 23, 2010

Bollywood or Bust, Baby

So I am preparing myself for the Slumdog Millionaire experience.

Like most Americans, I don't know a whole lot about India. I know that I think saris are beautiful, I love the way glass bracelets clang together, and I am a huge fan of anything curry.

The thing is, India is really on the other side of the world, and its culture couldn't be more different than the Western World to which I'm accustomed.

Whereas we're all Judeo-Christian and pop culturey over here, India is a place rooted in Hindu, Muslim and Buddism and places more importance on ancient cultural traditions than fly-by-night movie stars and quasi-celebutants.

It's time for some culture shock.

Last week, Wingman and I booked a nine-day trip to Delhi, Agra in Jaipur. It's going to be totally kick ass. Meeting people with different life experiences, exploring different rituals of faith and tradition, taking a million photos of the Taj Mahal. I can't wait to visit a place that's like nothing I've ever experienced.

The one thing I'm a bit hesitant about. The heat.

So, we're going in Mid-May. Coincidentally, that happens to be India's hottest month. Temps could climb to as high as 115*.

At first I didn't think that sounded too horrible. India's heat is a dry heat, much like Vegas in August. And I've been to Vegas in August. The only difference, I can't really wear my "Vegas Clothes" to India.


Whereas Vegas Clothes involve spaghetti straps, plunging necklines and shrinking hemlines, India is more like swaddling yourself like Baby Jesus. Or Buddha. Or whatever.

Specifically, Indian travel guides suggest clothing that shows no chest flesh, covers shoulders and has hem lines that extend below the knee (and preferably to the ankle).

It sounds very Big Love.

All joking aside, I am a bit nervous about all that clothing in oppressive heat. And to make matters even more tricky, some guides suggest travelers cover their heads to avoid scalp sunburns.

I know I'll need to cover my head when I enter mosques (thankfully no burqa), and I'm totally fine with that. I want to be reverent and respectful of others' beliefs.

My primary concern is avoiding sweating my balls off.

There's one thing I'm certain of, though. The experience in India is going to be life-changing, full of sensory overload and possibly magical.

And that sounds so freaking cool to me that I'm willing to deal with any heatwave.

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Tara @ Tara Being Tara said...

Kate - if you have specific questions, let me know and I'll connect you with my brother-in-law and his wife, who were there just last month. They live in London, but you can e-chat them!

TL said...

Sounds amazing! I think the key is in the fabric... Linen and Cotton to keep cool!

Anonymous said...

Possibly think about white linen. It's great in the heat and can allow you to cover up. You can add color to it with some light thin scarves and such if you like. And, remember the clinical strength deodorant.

One thing I can tell you from some of my passengers is that if you stink from sweat, you will not be alone! Just

Have a great time. I can't wait to see the pictures.