What Not to Pack When Traveling to India for a Year

A continuation of the last post: this time it’s what not to pack when traveling to India for a year. Or a month. Or any length of time. Based on personal experience and observation. If you pack any of this stuff, you’ll look as silly as a wet crow in a monsoon.

  • Toilet paper. You don’t flipping need toilet paper, you wuss. If you’re going to be in a city, they’ll have it at the market, and you’ll feel embarrassed lugging it home in an autorickshaw. If you’re not going to be in a city, suck it up and use the bucket and your left hand. It’s really not that bad, and it’s really not that dirty back there. You get a tiny bit wet afterword, but look. It’s just something you have to get over. Again. You are incredibly silly if you pack toilet paper like India is some sort of a trip in the woods.
  • Sterile needles. Seriously. If, if you land in the hospital, just tell the nurse you want to see the needle come out of the package. It will be uncomfortable, but not nearly as ridiculous as saying, “Oh, here–while I was puking my guts out and considering whether or not to go to the hospital, I grabbed my first-aid kit. Take a needle from there!” They know you’re a Westerner. They know you can pay for a fresh needle.
  • A trip’s worth of Clif bars. The food in India is abundant, and delicious. If you seriously can’t eat anything but rice, mix in some ghee and call it a delicious meal. But that’s not even the point. The point is, there’s loads of incredible packaged goodness to be had for just Rs. 10 at any streetside stall. Heck, I survived on the stuff for the first month. Lays chips in Original, American Cream and Onion, Tomato Ketchup, and India’s Magic Masala. Cheetos that are weirdly not cheesy. Cookies. Maaza–crack yourself open a Maaza, or a Thums Up. You really should be gaining weight in India, not losing it.
  • Shoulder-baring tops, if you’re a woman. This one made me cringe. I mean, have you read anything about visiting India? It’s not cool, people, to bare your shoulders. Or really your legs, too, so don’t pack shorts. Sure, you see it in Bollywood films. Would you wear any of the stuff the starlets get by with in Hollywood films? Really? Sure, you see Indian women doing it. Occasionally. But you’re not Indian. Don’t try to push the boundaries of a culture you don’t belong to.
  • Diaper pants. Just because you offend me when you wear those stupid harem pants. You look like an adult baby who just took a giant crap, so massive that it’s weighing the crotch of your pants down to the ground. Note: this rule is more flexible. But you look like a tourist, especially when you pair them with a shoulder-baring top and you’re wandering around Sudder street. Oh, here’s a free tip from me. Don’t stay at Sudder Street. The shadiest characters hang out there because they know it’s a tourist hotspot. Anywhere else in the city is glorious. Magical. But Sudder Street? I judge you.

This is another one I’ll update as needed. I just wanted to show you a picture of a wet crow.

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