Elephants, The Cadillac Of Pachyderms

“ Do you ever get trapped inside your car at Walmart because there is a tiger wandering around the parking lot?” I asked.

“Really?” she replied.

“Yea, yea! Or do you ever walk out of your back yard and step in one of those rope traps that spring and grab you by your foot and hang you upside down in a tree?” I pressed. I had never been to India, I needed the info.

“You’re an idiot.” she laughed. “You are aware that tigers don’t roam around freely in cities, right? And these traps you’re talking about, I think they were in African jungles in the 1400’s or something and there are no Walmarts here.” She concluded.

“What?!?!” I was aghast, “No Walmart!!”  India sounded like a strange and exotic destination for sure…no Walmart…imagine!

“Sometimes, do you have to pull over on the side of the road  because of stampeding elephants?” I wanted all the basic information before I travelled to this alluring jewel of a country.

“Elephants are a nuisance actually” my then girlfriend Mrs. R. said quite casually.

“What?” I sputtered, all joking aside now, she seriously had my attention.“What do you mean a nuisance?”

“They knock over fences, trample your garden, in the city they hold up traffic…like that” Oh, there was so much I had to learn about India and I couldn’t wait to get there. This was going to be the trip of a life time. Unfortunately, I didn’t see any elephants on that trip. Lots of monkeys and a camel or two, but no  Elephas Maximus Indicus. Nor on the next trip. It wasn’t until I moved to India permanently, I experienced the joy of seeing wild elephants and suffered the anguish of being in an elephant caused traffic jam.

Read on Macduff…

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India, How Do I Love Thee? Let Me Count The Ways, One…

I am Canadian! I am proud, I bleed maple syrup, love hockey and three down football; I ski and skate, I apologize too much, my favorite pass time is teasing Americans; back bacon, poutine and Nanaimo bars are the greatest foods on earth…believe it. Minus ten is not cold and there is nothing wrong with a beer with your breakfast if you are at the cottage or camping. I am also a Brit. A pompous, stuck up, tight assed, stiff upper lipped British subject; and bloody fiercely proud of that too! Go on, insult the Monarchy…you’ll see. I’ll gut you gullet to gizzard. But it’s not over yet, recently I received my OCI (Overseas Citizen of India) in my adopted nation and new home. Now I’m Indian too. Well, time to celebrate I would say! By way of indoctrinating myself into the culture, I have compiled this tidy collection of mild Indian irritants. Just for a laugh of course. Easily offended Indians may now exit to the left in an orderly manner (good luck with that) and as for the rest of my new compatriots, I dare you to call foul! Ah India, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways, One…

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beggars

Indian Beggars Are Racist

Outrageous, you say? Then explain why the beggars flock to me, a white man, while there are ample indigenous Indian people between us? They will literally trample a half dozen of their own kind to get to me. Is it because I must be a tourist and therefore have lots of money in my pocket? Is it because they know Indian people are “frugal” and less apt to loosen the purse strings? They are aware that begging has been outlawed in Delhi and Mumbai, but they think I don’t know that? No, the truth is, a large percentage of the begging in India is either a scam, or the beggar themselves are under the rule of the begging mafia, and it’s assumed I just won’t know that, being a white guy.

Read on Macduff…

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lick a snake

Travel & Always Take The Time To Lick A Snake

I have done a fair amount of travel. Not as much as some folks, but a good amount for most. Countless cities, in I believe…twenty five countries to date. With all this travel (some of it reckless; fair enough) and kaleidoscope of experiences, few crumbs of undeniable facts get tossed in your lap. Sometimes these crumbs are thrown at you by an orangutan, sometimes they are spit at you by a cobra; either way, you gather some rock solid truths. These things I hold dear, like gold. These nuggets of wisdom turn into rules after a while. So  as not to suffer any regret after returning home, I try to adhere to them in a somewhat fanatical manner. The top of my list, the most important rule I adhere to while travelling is: Never, EVER, pass up the opportunity to lick a snake.

Read on Macduff…

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