"Let her dyet proceede more from the provisions of her owne yarde, than the furniture of the markets; and let it be rather esteemed for the familiar acquaintance shee hath with it, than for the strangenesse and raritie it bringeth from other Countries."
- Gervase Markham, The English Hus-wife, 1615
The Maratha hero Shivaji was my husband's boyhood hero.
I assumed that when we got here "real" Indian food would blow my head off, but I actually found much of it fairly tame, spice-wise.
I am ridiculously charmed by the sight of women in saris perched decorously side-saddle on the back of motorbikes.
Indian toddlers are the most adorable creatures on the face of the earth.
I never want to visit India between April and October. It was quite hot and humid enough for me in mid-winter (into the low 90s).
I love how most of the churches we visited haven't slavishly used the Adventist Church Hymnal, as in many other parts of the world, but have created their own sacred music with Indian tones and rhythms.
Indians follow their celebrities even more fervently than Americans. Kim Kardashian and Ryan Gosling have nothing on Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and Shah Rukh Khan.
(Bearing in mind that so far I've only visited the triangle comprising Mumbai, Pune, and Aurangabad.)
I want a sari. Seriously. I don't care if I'm a fat, middle-aged, white woman. I'm getting myself one of those someday.
There are cows. Lots of cows. And I didn't get a single photo.
There are also lots of dogs. And goats. And pigeons. But I only saw one cat the whole time.
Indians love two-wheelers (motorcycles/motorbikes/scooters). You'll often see three or four on at a time. But very few wear helmets and when they do it's only the driver - the passengers just have to hope for the best.
Maharashtra looks a lot like Central California: semi-arid, with parched brown grass and scrubby trees; punctuated with areas of lush farmland.
Everything is covered in dust. Everything.
Hospitality is everything. Guests are considered to be like God visiting so all the stops are pulled out to make them happy. I like this.