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How to Eat with your Hands in India

How do you feel about eating with your hands?

Culturally awkward?

For westerners, it’s a cultural taboo to “play with your food”. However, here in India it’s culturally feasible to do so.

My initiation into eating with my hands occurred when I met a pilgrimage family in Gokarna. They kindly invited me to eat with them in a food shack by the beach offering free food for worshippers. Foreigners aren’t allowed in any of the temples in Gokarna so I was hesitant to enter. Nevertheless, the family encouraged me on.

May 10, 2011 24
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Visiting a local Indian theater in Gokarna

I’d spent the day circling the off-beat town of Gokarna, following the worn path of a merry-go-round. Boredom was closing in, threatening to seal me in like a concrete tomb. What to do when the town’s temples are closed to foreigners and you’re not into beaches?

Enter Gokarna’s local community theater…

May 7, 2011 11
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Gokarna Travel Guide

Dear Love,

“Life is a stage”… so the saying goes. But when does the rehearsal end and the real show begin?

Who am I today? Heroine, damsel in distress, drifting gypsy, lost soul or adventurous pioneer?

Traveling in India, I witness many stories unfolding around me. Various characters and scenarios emerge. Some cross my path weaving me into their story– as if I’m a silent destination along their journey. Others, pass by with an air of chaotic brevity, barely skimming my body by a hair’s touch. All part of my story; part of my theater.

April 28, 2011 7
bottled water creative commons, lots of bottled water creative commons
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Buying bottled water in India: An exercise in blind faith?

In India, purchasing bottled water doesn’t always ensure safety.

When I entered a guesthouse cafe in Hampi it was filled with fellow travelers. Food-wise, I felt a little safe. I walked past an employee sitting off to the side, with a line of empty water bottles and what did I see?… He was filling the bottles with tap water and recapping them!

April 14, 2011 17
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Do Bollywood Stars Haggle in India?

The vibe in the Indo-Himalayan air of Dharamsala was electric.

Walking back from the Dalai Lama’s temple, a large crowd was gathered around a local shop. Cellphone cameras were out clicking, digital cameras flashing… people were jumping up up to tip-toes to get a better view.

Could it be… the Dalai Lama?

April 9, 2011 7
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A Month in Dharamsala with a purpose | Yoga and Volunteering in Mcleodganj

Finally, rooted to a month of purpose!

I’ve been in Dharamsala for the past week, hiking, learning to cook Tibetan food, meeting people, exploring the Dalai Lama’s temple and my surroundings; but today, I got to drop my bags!

I have my own “apartment”. I like to call it that.

For the next month of my Yoga Teacher Training Certification program, I’ll have a room with a mini kitchen, a spacious bedroom with a TV and dressers, a lounge area and an outdoor balcony. It’s quite a swank pad!
Best of all, I finally get to root down!

April 7, 2011 22
Hampi Travel Guide, Virupaksha Temple, hampi ruins india, hampi unesco ruins
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Hampi Travel Guide | Hampi Ruins

Dear Love,

In India, there are temples dedicated to Hanuman- the Monkey God- a revered symbol of great strength, perseverance and devotion. The perfect soldier. Thus, some of the monkey temples in India occasionally shelter resident monkeys within it’s hallowed walls.

But in reality, monkeys can be cunning animals, rascal tricksters and in India, often scoundrel thieves!

April 5, 2011 5
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I Got into a Motorcycle Accident in India!

So you have travel insurance. Awesome.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t remove the fear and stresses of dealing with injuries when you get into an accident in India or abroad.

In four hours I was leaving Hampi, but I still wanted to get out to see the Monkey Temple (which was 20 minutes away by rickshaw)! Walter, a lanky 20-something Los Angeleno I’d met on the bus ride over, joined me . I wanted to rent bicycles but Walter advised the motorcycle would be the most efficient vehicle. The incentive being we’d split costs!
Had Walter driven a motorcycle before?


April 2, 2011 10
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Photo Essay: Is Goa over its hype?

In my last post I touched briefly on the beaches in Goa and their um… tourist mania. As I explained, Baga Beach (& Calangute, it’s sister beach) can be a bit of a water sport carnival. Here are a few more pictures which may make you wonder- Is this still India?

March 25, 2011 3
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