“ 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.