An Indian Odyssey Part 1

So currently I am in India. I’ve been here for a week and already it has been amazing and challenging. Landing in Delhi was a shock to the system. Armed with the knowledge that everyone would try and scam us we still got led on a merry circuit around the city by an amazingly skilled tout claiming to be directing us to the official government tourism office, while actually sending us to a private agency. At least we weren’t taken in enough to buy anything from the agency but it took a massive amount of time out of our day and left us feeling misused. The hop on hop off bus is a great little tourist find though.

From Delhi it was on to Srinagar – Kashmir, which New Zealand travel advisory claims is an extreme risk area and not to go at all. We on the other hand had a peaceful stay on a houseboat where eagles circled above every morning and went on day trips out to the mountains which are a sylvan paradise.

Everywhere I go people ask me if I am Indian. This is a bit complicated for me because yes obviously I am and that is how I identify, but when people ask this what they really mean is are you from India? Which I am not, this is my first time in the country. It has made me navel gaze a bit about being a child of diaspora two times over and how my triple identities intersect. M and I attract a lot of attention so it is best if people don’t think I am Indian but no one believes me when I say I am from New Zealand. I have settled on claiming to be Malaysian which seems to be accepted.



One thought on “An Indian Odyssey Part 1

  1. Russel Peters covers the same identity issue comically, when describing his first trip to India as well. He sums it up as being ethnically Indian, but nothing about him is Indian because culturally he’s Canadian through and through. I found it an interesting take on detaching your identity from your “race”.

    That aside, Kashmir is awesome, go stay on a houseboat in Srinagar!

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