… to India

Long live India the land of chai & the land of worn out palaces, big slums and where the smell of adventure always lurks around the nearest corner.
Cheers to India, where I learned that rickshaws should be yellow, sunsets red and warm milk sweet and right before bedtime.
It’s where thoughtful Indians spiced down food for white folks every time and it’s where I found myself asking “excuse me, but do you got any more spice?” in every single hotel and restaurant.

Cheers to India, where warm days meant boiling showers, first degree burns, and assemblies only came with national anthems. Its where alarm clocks were replaced by noisy pigeons and trains in the morning.
It’s where a open window bet any loud fan but meant ‘hello come in’ to all the geckos and it’s where “lights out” simply was a code-word for flashlights and slow wifi.
It’s where I kept thinking “New York sure has the title as hectic- but nothing can beat India” whenever crossing the street.

It’s where I realized that litter and poverty is just a “matter of getting used to” and it’s also where a hungry stomach taught me that best-before-dates on packages simply are numbers that somebody once decided to add on just for the sake of it.

So cheers to India, where all of a sudden the Delhi airport became my most well known one on the continent, and cheers to India where white walls guarding school buildings never have seemed taller. Cheers to India where I struggled to keep a right-before-bed-time coffee-addiction away and tried so hard to stop buying more pretty scarfs, and cheers to India where I used up too many instant coffee jars and spent too much money in bazars and markets. Cheers to India where I cried for the first time at a connection flight, and cheers to India where random people kept asking for a photo. Cheers to India; the country with more holidays than days in a year and as many ripped off tourists as corrupted officials in one nation.

So cheers to India, until we meet again. Maybe at a beach in Goa, a Kashmiri mountain, a Delhi airport, or on a yellow auto in Andra Pradesh.