Yes, it's me. I'm back. Even though my stomach strongly believes its still in India, I'm actually back. Not too sure what to think about this fact. To put it short: India was amazing. And while I'm still sorting through things and getting ready for university next week, I thought I would share my version of a pretty classic blog post: The infamous "What's in my bag" tag (not too sure, whether "tag" fits or not... too much youtube).
I never posted something dedicated to this before, because normally I pack my bag everyday and its not too exiting, especially since I rarely take any makeup. But in India I had my handful of stuff I took everyday, and luckily I snapped a picture of all my belongings being spread on my hotel bed... so see what I carried around... and you will probably learn something about India.
2. Refreshing tissues (Lufthansa and Drugstore): India is dirty. This sounds quite mean and racist, but the environment I walked through was filled with smog and dust. So after returning to the bus we enjoyed the luxury of refreshing tissues. Plus the Lufthansa ones are quite amazing for stains of any kind.
3. Stuff (Sugar and some receipt): General handbag stuff
4. Vocab cards: Yes, I wanted to work for university. Wishful thinking and stuff.
5. Hand detergent: Asking anyone India experienced, the person will most likely talk about getting stomach problems in some way. Disinfecting your hands before eating will not prevent you from getting sick, but it gives at least a waste feeling of secureness. Didn't help in my case.
6. Wallet: Took an old one with only the cards I needed. Typical for traveling, I guess.
7. Soap sheets: They were advertising gifts and I thought, they would be quite handy, because you rarely find soap in Indian public bathrooms. Unfortunately you rarely find a working tap. Well...
8. Swiss Army Knife: Not for stabbing innocents, but for skinning freshly bought fruit. Bad luck it wasn't mango time, but still quite handy when you spot a fruit stall along the road.
9. Mobile phone: Since my mobile phone is crappy and has a horrible battery I borrowed my mum's, especially because we shared a room with three young people and more than one socket was rarely seen.
10. Ipod: After being warned by several sources not to leave anything in our hotel room we carried anything valuable. Plus listing to music during 9 hour bus rides was quite relaxing.
11. Key chain: Advertising gift of one of the architects I met.
12. Ear phones: Essential when you want to listen to music in a bus without getting killed.
13. Hotel room keys: Sometimes we left them at the reception, sometimes not. The function should be obvious :)
14. Medicine: A girl needs her drugs!
15. Mirror: After sweating and tons of dust you did not really want to look into it, but still...
16. Pencil case + 17. Note book: India is quite a unfamiliar country, at least for a German girl with only a tiny bit of Asia knowledge, so sometimes you saw something and wanted to remember it. Therefore having something to take notes came in useful several times.
That was my handbag quite at the beginning of my trip. Be assured that I collected quite a lot of useless stuff and rubbish in it. Oh, and one time a sugar sachet broke, oh joy! While looking at it now, I sometimes wished for some hand-cream and lip balm, I also added some travel-sized sunscreen to my pile of stuff. Nonetheless I was always quite surprised how much stuff my small bag could possibly fit... and quite happy, that I never lost it.
What are your handbag essentials for a trip like India?
PS: I felt the need to write this... I've got the feeling my tone is quite sarcastic in this post. By any means: I did not want to offend anyone, I actually really loved India and the whole experience (maybe apart from the food poising I am still struggling with).