Hearty Welcomes & Salutations! Originally an action-packed travel blog from a globe-trotting Scotsman, An Ache for the Distance has, over the years, slowed down (I post less often), mellowed out (my dogs and kid have found their way on here) and become more of an expat blog (I German things up). Take a look around, leave a comment and share the love if you like something.
Stuart Mathieson, Lübeck, Germany

Thursday, 23 December 2010

The Return to Delhi - Dec 2010 India

It was ten weeks ago we left Delhi on a cockroach express to Varanasi and yet, in that bizarre extended travel way, it seems both like a lifetime ago and only yesterday. Ten weeks ago we were easy prey for touts, scamsters and anyone whose pockets are lined by greenhorned tourists. Dozens of chicken masalas & kingfishers later, we can dodge the cow shit with confidence in Paharganj, brush aside the annoyingly persistent Kashmiri salesmen in Connaught Place and even play the commission racketeers at their own game *See the travel tip below*.

The last few weeks of the trip, I lost the inspiration I had at the beginning for writing and photography. Perhaps because it was largely beach life in Goa, Kerala & the Andamans but maybe also due to the how normal everything became. You quickly become accustomed to seeing cows, pigs, chickens, goats and, in Rajasthan, camels on the streets. You don't blink when witnessing the death defying manoeuvres of Indian drivers. And, being asked your "good name", which country you belong to and if someone can have a photo with you becomes as routine as breakfast.

But despite, or perhaps because of, this feeling of normality in what is essentially a chaotic country, the trip coming to an end has a strange feel to it. Nostalgia is already kicking in and the rose tinted glasses are being polished, ready for the Indian memories.

The Bollywood experience in Jaipur provided a million Indians with a ringtone for their mobiles and me with a poignant tune to reminisce over my photos... Enjoy...




From An Ache For The Distance

From An Ache For The Distance

From An Ache For The Distance

From An Ache For The Distance

From An Ache For The Distance

From An Ache For The Distance

From An Ache For The Distance

From An Ache For The Distance

From An Ache For The Distance

Photos Continued Here...

Delhi Travel Tip

If you're ever looking for a cheap ride to Connaught Place from Paharganj simply stand on any busy street in the said district and do your best to look confused, easily achievable when surrounded by standard Indian street activity! Within minutes a tuk tuk driver will approach and ask where you want to go. If he quotes you 50 rupees to the "tourist information" on Connaught Place then he's genuine, honest and not what you're looking for. Send him on his way and wait until a shiftier moustache appears.

Eventually you'll be offered a ride by Rasheed from Udaipur for the bargain price of 20 rupees and whisked to Connaught Place whilst being given a lecture on the beauty of Rajasthan. Don't admit you've been there already, remain quiet and allow the Rasheed to dictate the chat. Once in the centre, politely decline the handshake of the waiting travel agent and proceed to your intended destination with an extra 30 rupees in your pocket (enough for 6 samosas!)

I would add that the above tip is best done only after you've been shafted by tuk tuk drivers in half a dozen Indian states. Revenge for Johnny Tourist!

Friday, 17 December 2010

Andaman Islands Dec 2010 - India

For reasons behind lack of blog activity over the past couple of weeks, please refer to the photos below from Havelock Island in the Andamans...

From An Ache For The Distance

From An Ache For The Distance

From An Ache For The Distance

From An Ache For The Distance
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