Kia Hal Hai, Hindustan?
How are you, India? It’s been a while, but back in the days Matthieu and I have spend quite some time in India. Always easy to start with something familiar. We’ve spent the change of the millennium—New Year 2000—tucked away in our sleeping bags high up in the Himalayas, we’ve had a memorable South-of-India Paley family holiday with Matthieu’s parents and brothers and Iluka was almost three in 2009 when we spent a month in India before moving on to Tajikistan. India seemed like a good place to come back to. There are mountains and snow, there are beaches and palm trees. There is naan and dosa and rikshaws and cows and colors and chaos. Beautiful.
Time spent in India
November 5th 2015 – April 10th 2016. 5 most amazing months!
Almost 10,000 km with the Paleymobile and another 2000 or so before that in Uttarakhand with public transport.
Favorite mode of transportation
Was definitely NOT the 7-seater shared jeep in Uttarakhand where we were 18 people… Hmmm, let’s see… Matthieu and I still prefer our own feet, ie trekking or walking the most. Iluka loved the motorcycle rides and Timo… I guess he’s ok with anything as long as he can sit on Mommy’s lap. Needless to say that the Paleymobile is the all-time favorite!
Matthieu: Anything spicy
Mareile: Roti (really! I don’t know what’s wrong with me…)
Iluka: Maggie Instant Noodles (unfortunately)
Timo: Dahi (Yoghurt) and rice. Can’t get the Turk out of him, I guess.
Iluka: Delhi is deli!
(delhi in Turkish = crazy)
Timo: There are so so so so many people!
Mareile: If you explain really well that the kids won’t eat anything spicy, so no mirch (chilli), kara biber (black pepper) or masala whatsoever, the food will still be spicy, but won’t have any salt…
Don’t leave your shoes outside overnight, when it’s -15ºC outside and you’ve played in the snow all evening. They WILL turn into ice blocks!
Never camp beside a road in visible distance. The temptation for drunk youngsters to check you out and be annoying is just too big.
Always check the tire pressure yourself. (We almost had a huge accident, because at some roadside car workshop they inflated our tires to almost double the recommended pressure. A few more minutes on the highway and the tire would have exploded!)
Lasting impressions & best memories
Living with Reba :: Amarkantak :: Camping beside the Narmada – swimming :: The trek up Tugnath :: The million stars at night when camping :: The kids speaking Hindi :: The birth of a baby goat :: Driving with the windows open and the music blasting ::
Favorite India-related Expressions
Iluka: Namaste — Aloo gobi saste!
Matthieu: Full power, no tension!
Mareile: E-straight, always e-straight!
Driving in India (or self-driving as they like to call it) requires not only some road-savvy motor skills, but also a healthy belief in reincarnation (just in case). read more…
I feel like I’ve lost the moment. How much rather would I say: I’ve lost myself in the moment. read more…
In February we spent some wonderful 3 days at the Honey Valley Guesthouse read more…
If you’ve paid attention, you will ask: “But where is chapter 2?” read more…
Frankly, there could be no better place than where I am right now to write my third reflective discourse. I am in a good place. read more…
Life on the beach. Good for a change from the mountains (we’ll be back for sure) and from the city (Delhi). read more…
In Germany we have the “Waldschule”, the ‘forest school’. Here we have “Strandschule”, ‘beach school’… read more…
Christmas 2015. What a very special 2 days… There was a quick and unanimous family decision that camping for Christmas would be great. read more…
Once in a while (at least I say this in my currently very tech-savvy-just-discovered-Premiere-Pro state) I will share with you a longer video, read more…
It’s been a while now that we’ve been telling everybody who asked that we’ve been in India for two weeks, while in fact—it has been one month! read more…
As it often happens while traveling, access to pharmacies and doctors is limited and so we tend to revert (with an open mind and hopeful spirit) to the local remedies on offer. read more…