How I did it: I had to make a decision: a yes, or a no. My friend Carla wanted to go and told me this could be our annual meeting anniversary. A new destination, somewhere I only read about but always wanted to visit. I think it took me 5 seconds to decide I wanted to go to India.
The ticket was fairly cheap, I think it was somewhere in the range of 400 USD from Amman (which meant I should cross from Israeli into Jordan) to New Delhi, but on one of the world's most luxurious airplanes: Qatar Airways which stopped in fabulous Doha.
Lessons & tips: India is unlike most destinations I've been to. You will stand out as a tourist, you will be harrassed by shop-keepers and will lose numerous shopping battles. The sights and aromas you will see will test your greed. I wanted to buy everything, I ended up with 10 rupees on me as I got on my plane back to Doha-Amman. You will fall victim to auto rickshaw drivers, and you will most likely be oveer-charged for everything. Play it right but don't become paranoid, else you may fall victim to your weaknesses.
Bargain about the products you want to buy! Don't go expecting to be treated like a Mahraja or a Mahraja's wife. In India, you're a no-one.
don't succumb to your fear of the endless voices of streetvendors, pick-pocketers, disfigured beggars. These are your brothers and sisters in humanity, just move on if you're unable to help.
do make plans ahead of time regarding your hotels stays, the exact price,
do read other's recommendations on where to go, what to do
do free your soul, and accept that this is not a tour de france!
do allow yourself to explore new places, and take new routes!
do make a night sleep on the train between Agra and Jodhpur!
do speak to locals, and make friends without the fear of them wanting to use you!
do get into religious and political discussions with the locals, there is no red-lines here to be crossed except profanity!
do go see the Taj Mahal for sure. and do stay in Agra if possible! (expect insects everywhere, even in your bed)
do buy jewelry (real and cheap), marble products, excellent spices (my mom still believes the products I got at the Maharaja Spices store in the Center of Jodhpur are some of the best she has ever tried, and she is a chef!), do buy hand-made art-pieces for the walls and other silk products, do buy cheap cloths from the street (no need to even bring cloths to india, cloths here arre so cheap you'd practically buy a pair of pants for less than 25 cents a piece!)
do communicate with locals, preferrably families, via interactive websites such as couchsurfing.com, you will meet some amazing people and will enjoy home-made cooking,
but most importantly DO explore the endless and most amazing tastes on earth! Enjoy the food, that is, the endless amount of food on some of the world's best bread! I had an excellent meal made out of vegetables and spices, cooked inside a rock that was breathing an inferno at a bus stop between Jaipur and New Delhi (I think the town was called Dudu) do love the chai, have as much as you want!
Explore, Marvelous India!
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