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Ngawang, 35,  Mcleod Ganj
Ngawang came to India 12 years ago as a political refugee from Tibet.  She is a nun in the buddhist nun in Dharamsala.
(Since the invasion of the Chinese in 1950 Tibet has been under the control of the people’s republic of China. There is much controversy between reports of the Chinese and the Tibetans as to how the Chinese occupation affects Tibet and its inhabitants and a …

[ Written by Katja | 22 Aug 2009 | No Comment | ]

Mcleod Ganj is a village on top of a mountain which was originally built by tibetan refugees leaving tibet through the himalayas to escape chinese oppression.
Come here to breathe easy as temperatures are accommodating (about 25 degres celsius) and pollution is low. There are lots of guest-houses, restaurants and shops to suit all visitors and a lot of people end up staying here longer than originally planned since the vibe …

[ Written by Katja | 21 Aug 2009 | No Comment | ]

Tamar, 26, Mcleod Ganj
Tamar is originally from Israel but left the country at the age of 5 when her family moved to Canada. She’s been traveling and living in India for 2 years.
Travelettes: Tell us about your India trip so far.
Tamar: I came here 2 years ago and at first I just traveled around to all sorts of places all over the country. Somewhere along the way an astrologist told …

[ Written by Katja | 19 Aug 2009 | 5 Comments | ]

Amritsar came to me like eyesight to the blind.
At one point during my traveling years I decided that I was not interested in temples, museums and sights in general and I regularly skipped those pages of my travel guide in favor of markets, neighborhoods and cafes which is what I enjoy and consider a better testimony of a culture as it exists in the present. For that very reason I …

[ Written by Katja | 18 Aug 2009 | 6 Comments | ]

Violette, 31, Kochi
Violette works at a publishing house in Paris and has been traveling south India on her own for the past 2 weeks. This interview was conducted on the night before her return to France.
Travelettes: Tell us about your trip so far.
Violette: I arrived with a friend and 2 of her friends. Somehow we split very early because already after 2 days I met 2 french girls at my …

[ Written by Katja | 14 Aug 2009 | 2 Comments | ]

Today was meant to be totally relaxing. My only plan was not to have any plans, apart from maybe trying the much-raved about cake called death of chocolate in my new favorite Kerala hangout – an adorably decorated cafe/sanctuary called Teapot.
Since in India things almost always contrary to what you hoped it was no different today. At 4am I realised my diarrhea continued to flourish and overnight I had grown …

[ Written by Katja | 10 Aug 2009 | One Comment | ]

First of all, I am full of shit.
I was actually thinking I’d come to India like a second Crocodile Dundee where no snake bites, no robbers, no infectious diseases could tame my sense for adventure. I thought I would come here and if I had to, I would walk all the way to darjeeling with a detour to calcutta’s house of charity, originally founded by Mother Theresa, where I would …

[ Written by Katja | 9 Aug 2009 | One Comment | ]

It’s Wednesday, 8pm in Mumbai.
Leaving Berlin went so smoothly that I should have guessed my arrival in Mumbai would be rough.
And it was.
All the traveling has made me a little cocky because for the first time ever I did not check the “getting to and from the airport” in my guidebook, because if I had, I would have known that rickshaws are not allowed in downtown Mumbai and I would …

[ Written by Katja | 5 Aug 2009 | 2 Comments | ]

Monday morning. It’s august 3rd. In 19 hours I will board the plane that is to take me to India and although I’m able to write up these lines in a calm and composed manner I’m actually panicking. I am freaking out. It’s the last day of getting things done and I have an endless list of stuff I need to do.Ii’m still pretty new to the whole “having a …

[ Written by Katja | 3 Aug 2009 | 3 Comments | ]

Dear travelettes,
I’d like to address a very serious issue. So serious, in fact, that it could decide over whether or not you have your wallet stolen, pay double for a cute new blouse or even become abducted and shot in the head. Ladies. I am not being dramatic, just realistic. I am talking about the immense disadvantages–no, risks!–that come with dressing like a regular tourist.

I was going to write down …

[ Written by Katja | 1 Aug 2009 | 2 Comments | ]