Monday, 15 March 2010

Thank you India!

Thank you India for showing me that vegetarian food is much more than tofu. For opening my eyes to a whole new world of fashion where sleeveless, hairy, sparkly, synthetic jumpers are deemed acceptable. For Delhi Belly. For putting me face to face with poverty. For banana lassis. For your public displays of gobbing and nose picking. For buses that are never full and trains that are never on time. For your tremendous history, your outstanding forts and your vibrant culture. For the dirty pillowcases. For the sacred rats, blue gods and stoned Sadhus. For the unspoken rules of the road. For mangy dogs, bloated cows and thieving monkeys. For all the smiles and the colour. For never saying no. For teaching me what to do with rubbish when there aren’t any bins. For always asking me where I’m from and for concerning yourself so ardently with my marital status. For some of the most disgusting toilets I’ve ever seen. For burning my mouth off every time I ate. For the effervescent saris, the brightly painted houses and the glorious temples. For teaching me that there really is no need to queue. For the ‘sweet’ and ‘pen’ brigade. For always showing me the way whether you know the way or not. For the head wobble. For the moustaches and the hair oil. For Bollywood and skin lightening adverts. For the black bogies and filthy feet. For opening my eyes to outstanding touches of kindness and outrageous displays of worship. For neon lights, loudspeakers and terrible brass bands. For staring. For letting me eat with my right hand. For some of the most beautiful girls in the world and some of the most ugly men. For the beaches with their resident cows. For tea with too much milk and sugar. For showing me the importance of faith, whatever you have faith in. For attracting the silly people in the silly trousers. For dodgy yogis and enthusiastic astropalmists. For the rickshaw drivers, wherever they may take you. For teaching me the art of bargaining and the sinking feeling of being ripped off. For the luscious countryside, the chaotic streets and the barren desert. For showing me that there is a world beyond that which I already know.

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