A blog about writing, reading, travelling and great characters I meet in life. I love these things more than cheese-on-toast times trampolines times monkeys.

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Anyone for a chocolate and Brussels sprout sandwich?

I was told to expect a 'Marmite country'. But for me, India isn't a love OR hate land. It's love AND hate, often in the very same experience.

It's a cherry cheesecake with oysters on top. Garlic naan with goat brain masala.

India is a chocolate and Brussels sprout sandwich.

Writer and traveller Paul Theroux talks about India as a land of confrontation - and that's been the experience for me as an India newbie. The daily surprises of India are causing whole sections of my brain to blow up. Old ideas and habits are being challenged. I'm proved wrong about most things.

I'm shown aspects of my character I'm proud of here (I can be adventurous, curious and caring). But I also display my twat side (I can be judgmental, suspicious and short-tempered).

There's always the option here - those precious seconds where I get to decide whether to take the Twat Road or the Comedy Road. More and more, I'm finding that laughter is the answer to everything here.

Laughter is the answer to a camel farting a cloud of dung gas in my face.

It's the answer to a lorry honking his earsplitting horn at me - (even when I'm nowhere near the road).

It's the answer to the attention from traders and rickshaw wallahs and beggars.

It's the answer when I find out my bed sheets and pillows have been washed in the not-very-clean river.

It's the answer when a man sits down next to me and burps. He reaches right down into his belly for a burp, gets ready, aims, then fires a burp-ball towards me with the force of a Wimbledon champion. Again and again, he aces burps IN MY FACE.

And laughter is definitely the answer when a pony-tailed, much older gentleman thinks that me smiling at him is a come-on.

In fact, I discover, I've just advertised myself as very very available to him!

HAHAHA - that's what I say to all of it.

(Until I take the Twat Road again - probably at about seven o' clock this evening).


  1. HAHAHA - great post again! And I like the reference to Paul Theroux...

  2. Ah thanks David, you made me smile - and thanks again for the tip off about Paul Theroux, it's helped me enormously in India to read his stuff on India.

  3. Yes, Paul Theroux is such an entertaining travel writer. And so are you! Best of luck on the challenge to resist the twat-path. And so great to follow your adventures, Charlotte.

  4. Ah Sarah, hi! x And thank you. May we meet again somewhere in the world. Hope all is well with you.

  5. Hi Charlie, I just found your blog through some random googling - I'm one month into a year in Bangalore and your description of the Twat Road vs the Comedy Road made me laugh out loud! Headed for a week in Delhi soon so it was lovely to read about your time there too. Thanks on behalf of no doubt many more anonymous internet wanderers for putting this excellent writing out there!
    purpleruthie @ hotmail.com

  6. thank you for your lovely comment Ruth - and happy travelling in India - it's a truly wonderful place, and yes, the funny moments live on in my mind! xxx