India Diary - 3/9/2001

A new country, So time for a change...

I know that I'm not quite there yet, but I've been given an idea (thanks Lol) and I'd like to try it out.

Basically, instead of my usual long blatherings about stuff that don't have much of a basis in time, I'm going to try to write a proper diary type of affair with a short piece or page per day. I also need to limit the number of pictures that I'm taking. I took well over 200 in Israel, okay not all of them ended up on the site, but a great many of them did, and they take a very long time to load up onto the internet. So the idea is just to have one picture a day - to capture the mood. So that's the plan. Whether it'll work or not, only time will tell (I give it a week myself!), so we'll see!

Today was spent buying final bits and pieces for the trip. Israel gave me a great opportunity to trial out all of the equipment that I have. The trip gave me an impression of traveling, of the equipment I might need and more importantly, didn't need. The tour gave me an idea of what lugging 25kg around a country is actually like (40C - not too much fun!).

For anyone wishing to travel light, my tip is simple - it's the same in all good travel books, but I ignored it, so others probably will as well, "Don't take denim". Ditch the jeans, lose the 501's. I know they're great, they're comfy, you wear them all the time, they're like a second skin. They are your worse nightmare! Forget about even trying to clean them, they take around three years to dry - even in the middle of the Negev hours after all my other clothes were baked to a crisp, my shirt (yes, not only did I take a pair of jeans, but I took a denim shirt as well!) was still damp. The other reasons concern denim's weight and bulk. Most clothes you can squash smaller. Denim is an exception - it takes up more space in your bag the more you crush it. I'm sure that somebody can make use of this amazing property of the material, but it's a real pain in the back, hands, wrists when you're trying to close your bag. Finally, we come to the death blow for the fabric, it's heavy. Not only heavy, but really heavy (so heavy in fact that simple italics do not do the stuff justice). You don't notice when you're wearing the stuff, but it's a right royal pain in the back (quite literally) when you have to cart it around.

I digress, useful bits and pieces. Medication wise, Rescue Remedy is great and you can pick it up in most good health food shops. It's a welcome pick-me-up when things get a little bit too much. More mundanely, pack in a good few packs of imodium and diarolyte. Don't use the imodium unless you have to (it's better out than in as they say) but the diarolyte is essential. Well to be honest, flat coke works equally well. Important point though if you're gonna drink the cola, make sure that it's not diet, the artificial sweetner'll only make things worse!

What else? Oh yes, well it's not really something to take, more something to use. Everyone has email these days, and for some reason, everybody uses hotmail. Well, I know that it's good and there are lots of features and it's pretty and... Simply the problem is that it's slow. When you're at an internet cafe and you're paying by the hour for some wickedy wack ISDN or ASDL connection (if you're lucky) you want to spend your time writing emails to your friends, not spending most of it waiting for your inbox and messages to load up. This is not meant as some anti-Microsoft propaganda soapbox type of thang, but simply what I've noticed watching people in the cafes. Want an alternative? Try something like yahoo!, they're equally as reliable, with many of the same features, but they seem to be faster. Why the service is faster I don't know, possibly because the mail appears to be split by country, but it's quick and that's all that's important!

Anyway, no picture today. I tell you what, next time I get the imodium tablets out, I'll take a picture of one of them and stick it up here... On second thoughts, perhaps not.

To tomorrow...

Created by Dan Leigh 03/09/01