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Questions from first timer to India

Travel Forums Asia Questions from first timer to India

1. Posted by Timo (Budding Member, 2 posts) 9 Aug '04 11:16

Timo has indicated that this thread is about India

I am a male United States citizen planning to travel alone in India for four or five weeks starting in early November. I'm a artist and journalist who will be writing an article about "extreme" vegetarian cuisine (?) for a magazine here in the States. I'm going to be arriving in Mumbai, and want to make a circuit down the west coast (avoiding Goa) to Kerala, up to Mysore and Hyderabad, and then back to Mumbai. My questions are many, but I'll limit them to four for now :)

-Can anyone could offer insights as to out-of-way places along that trail that are essential visit places(especially related to food)?

- Are there are special health concerns in the Southern states that I could be immunized against here stateside?

- For foreigners, is the supplemental travel health insurance really worth it?

-In drawing, human faces are my current obsession, and I want to do a sketchbook of person's faces when i'm there. I was planning on asking people to sit for short amounts of time while I drew them-- would it be rude to ask them to sit if i offered them a little money? Should I even offer them money, or would that just attract an unmanageable crowd scene? Is it acceptable to ask women to sit? I know in the states people wouldn't trust me with the request, but people here tend to be too suspicious anyway. any thoughts on this from natives would be much appreciated...

Many thanks!

2. Posted by scoobygirl (Inactive, 12 posts) 9 Aug '04 22:04

Hi Timo.....Good that you have specifically given a long detail about wht all exactly you'll be doing & where all you u'll be visiting in India.I'm also from India.I live in new delhi which is the capital city of delhi.

I have travelled in south India also as my grandmother is from there only.
Well,you don't ahve to pay people if you want to sketch their face. But this also depends from area to area.Means if you are in a rural area then people might think it to be a weird thing.But in urban palces people do know about this sketching thing.......
You don't need to pay anything.......

I know a lot of places where you can eat and then write about it.Especially when you are visiting for it......I'll give you links of a few websites of Indian recepies and also will give you a list of places you should go and eat!

For any further queries plz feel free to mail me....Do let me know your other queries.......

My e-mail:-snip, use message center-

Take Care

:)

[ Edit: sorry, no emails please. spam harvesters love them ]

3. Posted by kapilsingh (Budding Member, 4 posts) 10 Aug '04 06:08

hie there

Its great that u hv planned for india welll firstly u r going to Mumbai and Goa just make sure u hv advance booking of the rooms in Goa as november come under the peak season coz... of christmas u can ask anyone to spare few minutes so that u can sketch there is no need to pay but be sure u take prior permission if it is a female also if u plan for rajasthan (Jaipur) pls. letme know i can guide you better -snip, use message center- mailme for further info.

Thanks

KAPIL:)

[ Edit: sorry, no emails in the forum please. ]

4. Posted by gypsyliar (Budding Member, 7 posts) 10 Aug '04 06:22

Hi , I think in Mumbai, you can ask people to sit for a skecth of the face. It may not be rude to offer money to some, but you might want to offer them. Its not necessary although. IN rural areas, in some places, you must be careful while asking females. Must see places on that trail which you intend to take would be many. It all depends on how you intend to travel. Am not very sure about the supplemental health insurance. it would however be pragmatic to take one.

5. Posted by Timo (Budding Member, 2 posts) 10 Aug '04 11:31

Hello again and thank you for your advice! Any more would be much appreciated. The more the better in this case!

I didn't mean for you to think that I would only be drawing women -- just people I find interesting in appearance. But I will ask permission to draw women (and everyone else, of course) if it happens that I want to, but my question for the women "subjects" would be to whom would I direct the request? Obviously, if they are married, a request to the husband might be proper. Is it that most unmarried women are accompanied by a "chaperone" when they venture out, or is this an overgeneralization? I know this may require a complex answer, and perhaps I have not been detailed enough in my question. I'll leave it at this for now.

The last thing I would want is to offend someone, but I understand that this activity could be perceived as intrusive.

Where I live, there is a substantial Indian community, and I am a great fan of the Thali dinner. I know it originated in the South of India, so I'm interested in sampling some well-known places. Any ideas?

Finally, are there other online forums you could suggest I contact? I'm trying to cast a wide net right now, and then focus on the forums that seem the most active. Not to say that this one is inadequate...

I will contact those of you who have given me your individual email addresses shortly. Thanks again for your willingness to help-- I am very grateful.

Best,

Tim
Austin, Tx, USA

6. Posted by Aman (Full Member, 59 posts) 13 Aug '04 16:13

Hello Timo,

Welcome to India. Its really nice that you are doing good research before coming to india. South India is really a food capital of india, if i am not exaggarating. From Kerela to Hyderbad and from Mumbai to Bangalore you will find a lot of "food for your subject of thought". Like Hyderabadi people are fond of Biryani. In south India Vada- Dosa- Sambhar- Idli you must try out. You will find many items made up of coconut. In bangalore you can find Indian as well as coninental food as much popular as Its the IT capital of India and there are so many people working here from different parts of the world having different food habits. In mumbai you will find all type of foods. Mysore is just like trypical south indian.
For your Sketching query, i guess you never will need to offer money to draw sketch of anyone if you request them and ask them humbly. Even i can say that people will offer you money if you can sketch there face for them (There is a N.T.Rama Rao(similar) Park near Husan Sagar Lake in Hyderabad in which there are many artists all the time sketching people faces). You must visit that park when u will be in hyderabad.
Also not to forget to visit the beautiful Kaveri Dam and Sri Rangpattnam near Mysore. And do visit all the palaces in Mysore. There is a great cultural history behind all these.
Kerela is becoming favouite for anyone coming to india. If you go to any kerala village , eat with the villagers at their home the local food. You will like the food and even more the food culture. You can even learn the world famous Yoga in kerela for which many people come to kerela.
I am living in New Delhi in north india but still u will try to tell you any other thing if i will came to know. You can write more here.
Have A Nice India Trip...............Aman