We leave tomorrow and the excitement is building. The last few days before a big trip like this are alway jam packed with chores. I need to put a play list together if any of you have a suggestion or two, post them in the comments section and I will check them out.
Packing was interesting and very black. For both Dubai and India it is suggested that women dress conservatively, so I packed with that in mind. Somehow that turned out to be black. When I pack I pay attention to the weight of my clothes, wrinkle-ability, and versatility. I take light weighted clothes, made from synthetic fabric. I pack as few pair of shoes as I can. I will also take any article of clothes I wore a lot the last trip. You don’t want to take too much there either, because you are going to want to have room for when you come back. I love to bring back mementos.
Medical bag: One thing you have to pack when you travel around with your child is a fully packed first aid bag. There are not just the usual band aids and Neosporin as you can see for yourself. When we hiked in to Macchu Picchu I had the medical bag loaded. Most of the people in our group got something from me at one time or another.
Then there are the wall plugs. We have to take different adapters for Dubai and for India. I have to keep the iPad and iPhone charged so I can blog our trip!
Tipping: One of the most surprising things we learned on our first big trip was that the rest of the world does not tip like Americans. Now I always find out what the tipping is like where we go. Some people will expect a tip when they hear the accent, but for the most part the rest of the world doesn’t tip much if at all. It feels really weird not to tip so Jim and I usually do. The French made fun of us for it. I understand French much better than I speak it. I attended a school where French was mandatory from pre-school through 7th grade and for some reason I can remember a lot of the words when someone else is speaking French. We don’t really care though, if the worst someone can say about you is that you are generous, well, I can live with that.
Food: Lucky for me, a lot of Indians are shakahari (vegetarians). If you want to know more about my journey to vegetarianism and recently to veganism, read The China Study and all will be clear to you. I will be surprised if the book doesn’t change your life as it did mine (and through me Jim and Sean’s). That and my bleeding heart when it comes to animals. I have been experimenting cooking Indian foods, and we all love it. We have found 2 great Indian restaurants in San Diego, Chennai Tiffen (Sean loves the dosa there) and the Bombay Coast.
First days there: We are pretty loose with our trip after we have been there for a while but I always make sure we have everything taken care of for the first few days. You are tired and out of it when you finally get to your destination. And you do not want to be figuring it out then. Yesterday morning I had an email that our hotel (carefully hand picked by me) wanted to put us up in their sister hotel our first night. My immediate reaction was not happy. But I looked at the reviews on TripAdvisor before responding to the email and found out that the hotel we would be staying at is next to a muezzin and the first call to worship is at 5:30 a.m. I seriously cannot wait to hear it. I love to experience new things. I will try to get an audio file for all of you. So I was happy after all. Wait until you see the room in the guest house (not hotel) I did book. I will wait until then, day 2, to show it to you.
Pets: We travel and we have pets. Thankfully we have good friends who look after our pets. Bedford gets to hang out with Michelle who takes him for hikes. Jezabel and Phinneas go to Shawn’s. If you want to see Jez play with her new BFF the video is posted. The guinea pigs are living the high life with Ellen in Rancho Santa Fe.
At last I am ready to choose the books I am going to take with me. For this trip I am taking a combination of Kindle books and hard copy books. They include a biography about Richard Pryor called Serious Cool, a funny book called Hyperbole and a Half, Sycamore Row, NOS4A2, the China Study, City of Bones, and The Cuckoo’s Calling (a book written by JK Rowling under a pseudonym). Does that sound like a lot of books to take on vacation? It should tell you something about how much I love to read! I am just not sure how much down time I will have on this vacation.
I know I am forgetting something, oh what can it be? Oh yes, my sleep mask, ear plugs, and neck pillow. I know, total dork, hunh. But I really do want to sleep during the 15 hour and 50 minute flight.