That’s right, I’m going to India. I’m packing some sandals, a dog-eared copy of Siddhartha, way too many rupees and I’m heading off to the land of Gandhi, Ramanujan and Aishwarya Rai. I’m not quitting my job, I’m not skipping out on that much responsibility and I hope to find Truth along the way.
You’re going by yourself?
Where are you going?
I’m flying into Delhi, where I’ll meet up with Dave and head straight to a small village in Utter Pradesh, where we’ll be doing an Engineers Without Borders project. From there I hope to see the Taj Mahal, Nepal, the Himalayas, deserts, jungles, broken motorbikes, overcrowded trains, extreme poverty, monkeys, beggars, movie stars, Hindus, Muslims, naked Jainists and everything else India (and Nepal) has to offer. I don’t know where I’m going, but I’ve got a decent pair of shoes and some earplugs that say I’m getting there.
When, and for how long?
I’m leaving January 11th, and I’ll return on March 8th. That’s 8 weeks to the day, and I won’t even use all my vacation to pull it off. Ask yourself again why you don’t work for the government.
But … but … but what about the Terrorists?
I bought my plane ticket an hour after I first heard about the terrorist bombings in Mumbai. India’s a dirty, dangerous place even without Islamic militants, but the same can generally be said about my bathroom. Of course I’ll take precautions, but I’m honestly more worried about food poisoning than I am fundamentalists.
In many ways, it’s quite logical for me to want to visit India. I mean, I dated an Indian girl for a while, and I’ve always enjoyed Indian food. When I play Civilization 4 it’s generally as the Indians (they get the fast worker unit, and I’m a ‘builder’). Ashoka was the preeminent philosopher king, a position that could be said to be my only true career aspiration. However, all of that isn’t strictly enough.
India isn’t easy. India will make me work for what I want. India isn’t like the US, or Europe, or Japan. India isn’t like any other place I have ever been in my entire life.
And that’s exactly why I want to go.