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India - tips please

Well that is an interesting thought. I though customs were really hot on things like seeds, food stuffs etc.I remember having some almonds confiscated when landing in Australia. I am sure to see lots of plants that will whet my appetite, I’ll be on the look out for friendly gardeners. Thanks Greywolf.

Totnes, Devon

One little top tip : my mum went to India over a decade ago and was given a handful of Indian Marigold seeds (their national flower) by a civic gardener. Well their descendants have colonised in her garden and my hanging baskets and tubs ever after. They seem to flourish equally as well in our colder climate.

Wakefield, West Yorks.

You’re very welcome – let us know how you get on.

Well there we are folks I now feel very prepared for my trip. Thank you Silver Travellers.

Totnes, Devon

If you’re staying somewhere malarial you should be given nets (unless you’re in the cheapest hostels).

In theory, if there’s air con, there shouldn’t be mosquitoes in the room, but you’ve only got to leave a door or window open for a bit and in they come. I think it’s worth having a plug-in thingy – they’re not perfect but they do help. (Re sockets – be prepared for alarming wiring and wobbly sockets.)

Because I was there for so long I got more or less use to Mosquito bites, but they are a pain to begin with. I swear by Avon Skin-so-soft. But if you are somewhere with a lot of malaria or dengue fever it’s probably worth using something deet-based. (I didn’t need any anti-malaria gubbins while I was there, so you may be fine.)

Morning Jo, I have been the token white person in Japanese and Balinese photographs, great fun.

Back to practicalities what about mosquitoes, repellant or nets?

Totnes, Devon

On the taking-pictures thing – always, always ask.

I know you see countless other people taking pictures of beautiful children without asking, but it’s just rude – in any country. And no means no – always.

In India white-skinned people are often asked if they will have their photo taken with Indian families. It feels very odd to us, just so they have show their friends they have a picture with a white person in it. But it’s a cultural thing – we don’t have to understand it, just decide if it’s something we are happy to go along with. (I always do – i can see no reason not to unless I’ve a bus to catch. And it’s often followed by a chat, which is lovely.)

I bought my DrinkSafe system on-line and I’ve never seen them in the shops anywhere. I have no experience of Singapore but I’d be tempted to take things with you in case you can’t get the brand you want in Singapore.

Essex UK

Isn’t it sad that children see Europeans with such aggression. I wonder how we would react if we had outwardly wealthy looking tourists wandering around our streets taking pictures of us etc. Mind you here in Totnes, anything goes and children would probably just offer to paint them a rainbow painting or plait there hair! I think respect is the key word for travel.

Going back to basics, do you all recommend that I buy water sterilisers, water bottles, tummy pills etc here in the UK or wait until Singapore?
Computer purchases OK or chemists and outdoor shops best?

Totnes, Devon

Sad that you had such problems on your own, Eleanor.

I also stayed in Narlai, but was with a group then. But had no problems when we wandered off. A child in Jaipur smacked my arm when we wouldn’t give her anything, which was a bit of a shock – but soon over.

Looking back – I had more hassle in the streets when I was with a friend – children, beggars, traders being more persistent. I wonder if the fact that there were two of us to ‘target’ made a difference. On my own I met nothing but curiosity and kindness.

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