How to avoid dysentery while traveling in India

I have writers’ block.

I think I’m still suffering from jet lag; since I returned from India last week I’ve found I can barely string two thoughts together, let alone an entertaining newsletter about something yoga-ish.

During my time away, I spent three days in Mumbai, followed by two weeks at a retreat center studying with Ashtanga Yoga legend Maty Ezraty.  Although I learned a ton about yoga (and myself!) during my time there, my biggest education came from attempting to move about the country without getting lost….  Or picking up dysentery.

But once I understood the taxis and toilets, eh, the yoga stuff was a breeze.  So instead of the usual musings on the yoga path, this month I’ve come up with a Top 10 List:  Pieces of advice, should you be thinking of a trip to India.

Waxing poetic yoga will arrive in your inbox next month.

Namaste, Jen

Top 10 List:  Advice for traveling in India 

  1. Never turn your back on a monkey.
  1. Practice using traditional Indian toilets (AKA a 4” hole in the floor) prior to an urgent call. Try standing (squatting), instead of sitting, on your own throne at home.  First, though, minimize the size of the bowl by 75%.
  1. Never smile at an Indian immigration agent.  It makes you look guilty.  (Enough said.)
  1. Make sure your Mumbai rickshaw driver has a shrine to Ganesha, Jesus or Allah on his dash.  You’ll need to pray to all three to make it to your destination alive.
  1. If you plan on eating street food, pack Imodium AD.
  1. Never, ever, drink the water.  And, by the way, ice is made of water.  And smoothies contain ice.
  1. If you engage in #5 or #6, double down your practice of #2. (no pun intended).
  1. The typical Indian speaking voice is two or three decibels higher than ours.  Do not be alarmed when they yell at each other (or you).
  1. Cows know they’re sacred in India and can (and will) cause the mother of all traffic jams during rush hour in downtown Mumbai.
  1. Never believe a taxi driver when he claims he knows where something is.  Even when he knows your destination (say “La Plage” restaurant in Goa) it’s likely he’ll take you to his brother-in-law’s establishment across town instead.

Oh, and please, feel free to add to this list of advice (for traveling in any foreign country) in the comments below.  I’d LOVE to hear your stories.

xo, Jen