One Month In: How’s it Goin’?

One month in and we’ve already had a lot of great experiences, from meeting dolphins to riding bicycles around the ancient city of Hampi. Sam finally convinced Eric to grow a beard, so in his own way he’s now competing with the dreadlocked men who roam the backpacker trail.

[ptcPhoto filename=”ericbeard.jpg” title=”Eric sporting a new beard” caption=”Eric sporting a new beard” position=”right”]

Health Matters

Knock on wood, so far we’ve had no major health issues. We haven’t been extremely careful about what we eat, so maybe our adventurous diet at home prepared our stomachs for the onslaught of foreign foods. We have been pretty careful about water though, drinking either bottled water or tap water that we’ve sterilized with our SteriPen.

Our feet are another matter altogether. Sitting in a cubical for 8 hours a day didn’t prepare us for the amount of walking we’d be doing on the trip, so blisters, cuts, and sore muscles greet us with every step. But our feet are getting tougher and calluses are slowly forming in the key spots.

We’ve had the occasional bout of homesickness, which often crops up at breakfast time when we’re thinking about bacon. We’re going through bacon withdrawal! Moving quickly from place to place can take its toll, so we’ve been trying to take breaks when we can. This past week was spent lying on a beach in Goa, which has been perfect.

We’ve only had one minor breakdown so far when Sam accidentally submerged her foot in a hole of unidentifiable, warm, foul-smelling liquid behind a public bathroom at a bus station in Bangalore. Luckily we’re up to date on our Hepatitis shots so it looks like she’ll be able to keep the foot.

What Have We Been Up To?

We definitely don’t miss work, but we’ve had to devise a schedule so we don’t go too long without updating the site. We’ve declared Mondays our website “work days”, assuming the internet gods grant us connectivity. Eric’s MacBook stopped working so our productivity has slowed in recent weeks. Thankfully there are service centers in Delhi where it can be fixed.

[ptcPhoto filename=”mysoreGanesha.jpg” title=”Ganesh the Internet God” caption=”Ganesh the Internet God” position=”left”]

Day-to-day tasks like research and hand-washing clothes take up the time we don’t spend exploring new places. In her role as trip accountant, Sam tracks every rupee spent and has become more insistent about staying on budget. Eric mastered the extraordinarily confusing Indian rail system, so we’ve been taking advantage of trains even though they lumber along at a snail’s pace.

A noticeable development is that even after a short amount of time traveling, we’re finding that things become more and more relative. In particular, the concepts of “clean” and “expensive” have taken on new meaning. We find ourselves thinking things like, “It’s just a couple of cockroaches – no big deal!” and, “The bananas two kilometers back were eight cents cheaper. We should wait and go back there.”

What Have We Been Eating?

[ptcPhoto filename=”SriLankaCurry.jpg” title=”Sri Lankan Curry” caption=”Sri Lankan Curry” position=”right”]

In the past month we’ve enjoyed some amazing world cuisine as well as some bland imitations of it. In general we find that the closer you are to the main tourist areas, the more disappointing the meal. We’re always on the hunt for unapologetic, authentic, local food.

Food in Sri Lanka was tasty but a bit too consistent. Curry and biryani with mounds of rice were often the only choices on the menu, so after a week or so we’d had our fill. Sweet Sri Lankan tea was always around to wash it down.

[ptcPhoto filename=”IndianChiliGobi.jpg” title=”Indian Chili Gobi” caption=”Indian Chili Gobi” position=”left”]

Already we are finding that India has more variety and we’re looking forward to sampling street food once we get to the larger cities. At the moment we’re stuck on Gobi Manchurian (AKA Chili Gobi), a spicy fried cauliflower dish.

Plans

It looks like we’ll be in India for another month or two. In a few days we’re heading north to Jaipur in anticipation of the upcoming elephant festival and Holi, the spring festival of colors. We’re really looking forward to seeing Caroline in Delhi at the end of the month!

9 Replies to “One Month In: How’s it Goin’?”

  1. Yey! So glad to see you guys are doing so well! Crazy that its been a month already but sounds like you guys are getting into a “routine” that keeps you grounded. I’ll be psyched to join you later on when you’re at your cheap & dirty apex! 🙂 Keep us in cubicle land updated! We miss you!

  2. Hi Oehlsons!

    How great it is to hear about your trip! I loved this one because it really gave us a good idea of how you’re doing. Eric, I don’t believe I’ve ever seen you in a beard. Surprisingly it looks good! And very manly. Keep posting. We love hearing from you.

  3. I love the beard Eric. I just spent the last half hour catching up with your posts, my mom was sitting next to me enjoying as well (I’m in Florida with my parents!). I am so incredibly jealous and happy for you guys.

    keep the updates coming!

  4. Beard = hilarious. Reminds me of a bad Hollywood action film — staged in an old battle front, where the actors are withered and dirty, save their beaming 21st century smile. (I can empathize though, after my 3 weeks in India in 08, I had the same thing. )

    Btw, when it comes to toilets there, if you have the choice between the free ones and the ones you have to pay for — just pay the money.its well worth it.

  5. Loving your travel stories as I sit here and nurse Layla, oops TMI. I am slightly jealous and look forward to many more adventure tales.

  6. Enjoy reading your updates and am happy to learn all is well. One month under your belts….. Some amazing photo’s!!!!

  7. Love seeing where you have been and where you are going. Papa is still worried about both of you. I can’t wait for the elephants. Be careful keep having fun enjoy life love each other

  8. really enjoy keeping up with your adventures. what an experience!! glad Eric didn’t get hurt with that rickshaw and that Sam was able to keep her foot. think i may have been tempted to cut it off just because of where it had been. 🙂 keep posting!! love you both.

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