Thursday, March 10, 2011

An American In India

Two months from now, I'll be on vacation.

Wingman and I are headed on a nine-day romp across India - Delhi, Agra and Jaipur, to be exact. Before we cross international waters, we're spending two days out East. We'll do a day/night in my old hometown of Madison, CT and then 24 hours or so in NYC.

I'm doing a damn good job of containing my excitement.

The thing is, my brain jumps to thoughts, concerns and dreams about this trip on an hourly basis. My two big concerns - What the hell am I going to wear? and What kind of camera should I buy?

The wardrobe question weighs the most heavily. I feel really shallow for saying that, considering I'm getting ready to visit some of the most impoverished regions in the world. I'm stressing out about whether a knee-length skirt would show too much leg while folks in India are worried if they'll have enough to eat on a given day.

First World Problem, no doubt about it, but it's one of my concerns with regard to this trip.

First off - India in mid-May is hot. Like "Africa Hot." Annual forecasting shows we can expect something between 79 and 103 degrees F. They say it's a "dry heat," but I don't know if that's really any comfort.

Take the insane heat and compound it with the culture's more modest tendencies. I've been in brutal temperatures before, but I've also had the freedom to wear shorter skirts, tank tops and other, less inhibiting options.

Most travel guides and other references suggest women wear skirts with hemlines at the ankles (!), no bare shoulders (!) and high necklines (!).

I guess I can forget packing those "Vegas Clothes."

I've spied some really cute, knee length skirts on (my mom would probably just love that I am considering shopping at Talbots) and a colleague of mine who is learning how to sew has offered to make some simple, half or three-quarter circle skirts for me. How lucky am I?

Just yesterday, I purchased online Birkenstock's Gizeh thong in silver and Crocs McCall ballet flats in cranberry. I've heard these two styles are really comfortable yet feminine shoes that are perfect for traveling. We'll see.

As for cameras, I have my heart set on the Canon Rebel EOS T2i (yes... I know the T3i was *just* released). It's supposed to be a great DSLR with nice video capabilities. I really want to capture some spectacular images while I'm traipsing around on a once-in-a-lifetime trip, and a good camera is the only way I'm going to do that.

Bluegrass Brit just told me last night about different options to rent photography equipment. Something to explore.

Other things on the brain as the trip approaches - my health. I've got two doctor's appointments to get in my shots (two rounds of Hep A, Typhoid, and an inquiries about the DPT vaccine and poliovirus vaccine). I'll also be asking for a prescription for Cipro to help stave of malaria.

I am simultaneously excited and nervous I'm taking a vacation that gives rise to these concerns.

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Kate's Random Musings by Kate the Great is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.


phyllismc said...

Kate, Enjoy this trip of a lifetime; I did the same three cities in 48 hours in 1999. Nine days is a much better plan! I left my shoes and jeans in India. Just sayin...something to consider. I can't wait to go back but seriously, pack light and consider taking clothes you don't care so much about. You may decide to leave them.

Unknown said...

I'm so excited for you. Wishing you safe happy travels.. hope we can get together before you depart.

Aayushi Gupta said...

Hey, I just thought as an Indian, I could help you with some of your concerns. In Delhi, i guess skirts are fine. Most foreigners I see wear capris, so you can consider that too. Tank tops are fine, but it IS going to be hot, so you might consider kurtis. Flowing tops are what I personally like.

And you don't really need to worry about the shots. The conditions are fine.

Its going to be lovely. You don't need to worry so much. People are hospitable, most of them know English, so you can easily ask for help. Just remember this, if you intend to shop, sp. in Agra, beware of road vendors. They'll try to charge you really high.

Have fun:-)