Aventures in India — Scribbled Travel Notes [en]

In 99-00, I spent a year in Pune (India) on a student exchange program. These pages deal with the good and bad times I have been through there. They will provide you with a glimpse of what it is like to live in this country. And if you are familiar with India, you might like to try seeing it through the eyes of a videshi…

I thought it would be nice to leave a trace of my adventures (after a couple of hours in India, it definitely seemed like I was having some!) for my friends to read. As for those of you who do not know me, here is a chance to peek into my life…

The following pages are no more and no less than what they say they are: scribbled travel notes. So please bear with my sometimes weird sounding grammar and the typos (though you mustn’t hesitate to let me know about them!). Maybe some day I’ll polish up this text (and translate it in French?) – but that might not be until I am rich, famous and old. ; )

You will notice that every now and then I drift out of what actually happened and start thinking aloud. Please remember that what I wrote “in the heat of the action” is not necessarily what I would say later, after having thought a little…

As I have typed quite a lot, I have had to separate this text into chapters. The best thing to do is to start at the beginning and read on, but here is a list of the chapters and a brief description of the content if ever you feel like jumping about in time.

If you’re interested in reading the “mirror image” of this logbook, check out Ash’s “First Impressions” of an Indian woman in Canada.

For printing or offline reading you might want to try the compiled version of this logbook: everything in one big file!

First Indian night in Bombay, first sickness, unsucessful experience as a paying guest, first steps outside, life at the hotel and attempts to socialize.
A couple of nightmarish days in the capital and a two-day trip to Rishikesh with a fellow student.
Three weeks of intensive Hindi lessons with my Hindi class from Switzerland.
Appreciating India
Trek to Yamunotri, getting used to Pune life again, while searching (and finally finding!) a flat, shopping and meeting people.
Living with Aleika
A last-minute trip to visit my new friend’s in-laws, sari wearing and shopping, and feeling a little comfortable in Pune at last.
Alone in Pune
House-sitting during Aleika’s absence, weddings, millenium party and “religious” expedition with the Shindes.
Chennai and Belgaum
A ten-day trip with Shinde to Chennai and Belgaum.
Bombay again
Back to Bombay with Nisha and Shinde, and surrendering my flat.
Three weeks with my friend Danielle from Switzerland: Alibag, Ellora, and Osho.
Everyday life
Everyday life in Pune during the hot season.