Bombay The Hard Way: Sam goes to India


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?

Not quite. I’ll be meeting my friend from college, Dave, who’s in the middle of a slightly larger trip. I’m sure he could use some company, and he clams to have run out of Febreze and needs a refill.

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.

Why India?

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.






3 responses to “Bombay The Hard Way: Sam goes to India”

  1. As usual, if you want a really badass postcard, send me an e-mail with your address at

  2. Awesome, truly awesome! I’m curious about how you’ll take 2 months off and still have vacation time afterwards, but it’s nice work if you can get it. Please share our best wishes with Dave and let me know what the EWB projects are like/what you’ll do/how much fun you have.

    Go out and grab that subcontinent by the horns (this is not a cow joke… OK, yes it is)! I look forward to the blog posts that are sure to inform and humor us while you march the path to total enlightenment.

  3. Sweet! I look forward to hearing/reading about it. I would be very interested to find out what IT is that you hope to find in your experiences there. Good luck man!

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