Many of you have already read part one, for those that have not, check it out!
I started off my trip with five shots from the travel doctor. "Thank god for these shots, now I won't get sick!" I thought to myself.... False with a Capitol F!!! India, you are amazing, inspiring, colorful, talented, but so very polluted!
As soon as we landed in India I started to feel that grade school ahsmah kick in. I had a slight shortness of breath and a weird pressure I have not felt since those inhaler days! The first three days spent in panipat were great! We hopped around factories and vendors no problem. I was Lovin the views! Lots of people and traffic including animals!! Then we took off and flew to varinassi and that's when it all started, my ten phase illness!
We spent the first day in Varinassi driving through different cities working our buts off. I could not believe my eyes! I had the window down every time we were in the car, snapping pictures, and ooing and ahhing at almost everything I saw. Here's some of the many wonderful sights!
I blame myself for getting sick.... Window down all day in the most polluted air I think I have ever been in. I was up all night with stomach cramps and yep... Threw up. The next day was my birthday. We spent it driving around badohi India, same thing, vendor to vendor, factory to factory. One of the last factories had a cake and everything for me, it was amazing!
Again, I totally blame myself for having that darn window down all day sucking in all that unfamiliar air. That night same thing... Up all night with stomach cramps.. Yep threw up again. The next morning my entire body was in pain, I was weak, nauseous, head aches and pains everywhere. I worked through it though (minus one vendor) and I am proud to say I survived that awful day! Maybe it was the air, maybe it was the exhaustion, perhaps the enviroment change, or maybe it was the "Masala, masala, masala!"
I am not one for spices, and in India, everything is masala, and masala is spices! Masala chai (which was actually amazing), masala omlete... No masala? Yes.... Masala! One dinner we had spicy stuffed parathas at the photo above. You eat with your hands and dip in curd or beans. Two bites in I thought my whole esophagus was going to burn off! After seeing my choke and sweat, they ordered me a non masala plate of parathas.... That was just as spicey as the first. By then, my whole mouth, throat, esophagus, and all areas between were spiced up. Anything that went down (including the water) felt hot and spicey! Is that why I got sick... Probably not! It is funny to think that however! This is what most of my plates began to look like after the first day of "testing my spice limits" ..... Fruit and bread!
On forth, my Indian adventure! One of the mornings in Varinassi we did a sunrise boat tour on the Ganges. I was still feeling pretty nauseous and almost lost it on the drive over. I stayed pretty quiet because I basically tried to keep my mouth zipped shut, so nothing unwanted or unwarranted could exit. I was very nervous to get on a boat... On the Ganges.... With an upset tummy, but I made it through. The boat ride was so peacful and the sunrise over the Ganges was a sight to see! Amazing views with some great folks! We even got to check out our vendors place on the Ganges! Super neat stuff!
The stomach and body pains faded and onto the next phase, my sore throat and cough! After varinassi and badohi we flew back to Delhi for the Delhi craft fair.
Walking through the isles was like walking through the home textile markets times 100! So much to look at, I couldn't focus! I bet you'd agree, here are some of the few pictures I was able to snag walking through the show...
Next we went to see a few vendors in Agra. This was great because we woke up super early one morning and hopped over to the Taj Mahal! We had an awesome tour guide, although he didn't understand how sick I was. After a thirty minute cough attack he was pretty irritated I wasn't listening to his history of the taj "listen to me, you are not listening, stop coughing, listen!" Needless to say... I almost threw up at the Taj Mahal! Luckily thirty minutes later my cough died down and we made it through... Touristy pics and all!
Back in panipat for the last few days of India we missed the rioting and protesting by a couple of days. Here are some aftermath photos from the roadside... A couple things were lit! (Both uses of that term for sure!)
I made it home teary eyed on the plane since my sickness had not fully broke... The air pressure landing twice did not feel good, not at all. I know many people have experienced it so I am sure I don't have to explain, but I pretty much felt like a cartoon. I thought my eyes would pop six feet out of my head and my head was going to blow off! Immediately following the end of my sickness from during India, I got a bacteria infection once I was home that didn't stir till the next day. Boy did that cramping ever hurt! I have never had a baby, but I picture that pain to be what contractions feel like with no drugs! Had me out of work for three days and not eating for almost five! I was put on a vegan diet to help ease my tummy with antibiotics. Unfortunately those nasty pills had side effects worse than the bacteria! I looked like Casper the ghosts skeleton! But you know what... All that pain was worth it because I learned my limits... And I worked through them while in India! (Also lost 15 pounds, however gained it back as soon as i could eat meat and dairy again!) I also feel stronger as a person, designer, and traveler! I would recommend a trip to India to any and every designer and artist, as well as anyone easily inspired or adventurous! I hope if there is a next time, I can go with the ability to handle a pinch more MASALA!