There are a few things that always amaze me about India, no matter how often or how long I stay here. This time around there were also new experiences as I was in the south – which as everyone will tell you down here is SOOO different – they are very proud of being south India.

Food: I love Indian food and when I am here I eat mostly local, in a reasonable way (cooked and no street food). Food was awesome – great dosas, sambar and most importantly – the best coffee ever!!

A bit more vegetarian focused, have been taken to veggie restaurant everytime the locals took me – but fine with it. Lots of rice which is not great for my keto diet maintenance. Breakfasts as always, out of this world, my favorite mix of Indian (parathas, dosas) with choices of anything. Even opted for deep chicken broth the first day here to recover from jet lag. Spicy chillies on everything – but the coffee is my #1 new obsession!

The Indian way: I know I wrote about this in Allahabad but the dichotomy of this place always amazes me. Digital India program is in full swing and everything is digital – elevator only goes to the floors you are allowed to; my whole hotel room is operated by an ipad, people pay with apps in the cafeteria – yet – the basic operations is a cluster. Queues in the cafeteria are just one large group with no organization – no flow from left to right. People leaving the airplane just pushing through without waiting for the ones in front of you to move.

The famous head shake – sort of a no with a little bit of yes. The “yes mam, I will be there at 5” and then showing up at 3 and then 630 to average it out, maybe? The driver experiences this time around were especially comical as I had a different person everyday and most of them had little understanding of English so it was always a fun conversation. Even though I booked it online with addresses and times of arrival/departure, we typically went around like this – thank God for What’s app.

No, his name wasn’t Rich but he was on time. And I am not laughing at the English – just the reality and uncertainty of time at all times. On the positive side, I was always early as I built in big buffer for traffic and driver.

The global warming – if you think it is not real, go to Chennai – 3 years without monsoons and serious drought. No water in reservoirs, people buying water on the street from private contractors. Signs everywhere. Made me feel really guilty by taking a long shower after my oven trip. Small riots starting as the government is a bit apathetic as I am sure they are not suffering.

The social issues – always eye opening. #MenToo in newspaper; the whole page in newspaper on girl rapes/attacks, the trash problem that is not better at all.

To top it off, I have to share the sign Mia made for me – she is a big writer so this just cracked me up – this was on the stairs on my way to the bedroom. Just so I don’t step into our puppy’s present…. because who would put effort in cleaning it up, better to warn others to step over it. Welcome home!