Wednesday, December 31, 2003

Some tips for those considering travel to Mysore:

This Mysore web site has a lot of good info on what to expect:

The book Culture Shock: India gives a very clear description of the culture and is invaluable reading before you go. Lonely Planet: South India is also a must.

You’ll probably need immunizations such as Hepatitis A, Typhoid Fever, Tetanus, etc. Expect to pay $300 to $500. They will want you to take malaria meds but it’s not really necessary in Mysore (and it “makes you crazy”). Let them give you a ‘scrip anyway; definitely get one for Cipro and fill it. Recommendations for what you’ll need are on the CDC web site:

You’ll also need a passport and tourist visa. The latter is valid for six months, can be obtained at the Indian consulate and is $60. Give yourself a day to do this. The web site tells you what to bring, give the hours and has downloadable form (very helpful):
The Chicago one is here:

Consolidators have the cheapest plane tickets. Ask around or see If the choice is between, say, Air India or Lufthansa, choose the latter. Lufthansa flies from Frankfurt to Bangalore (the closest airport to Mysore). To get to Mysore from Bangalore you can take a train or hire a car.

I brought one container of enviro-friendly insect repellant and one with
DEET -- and only used the green one about three times. I didn't bring
syringes or 'scrip diarrhea medicine (i did bring immodium but never
used it; the feeling there is that you should "let it out" rather than
stop it up). Stuff for yeast infections is also a good idea.

Wellness Formula
alarm clock
TP (very expensive there)
prescription drugs
aspirin, Tylenol PM, etc.
a pair of good sandals
a pair of flip-flops (you can get those there)
a pair of tennis/walking shoes.
“bathing costume”
sun hat
Mysore rug
Five or more yoga outfits that you don’t care about
(In fact, don’t bring anything that you really like to India)
A good, comfortable backpack
Tiny padlocks to put on it (people love to steal, don't they).
A regular-size combination lock (for the door of your room)
A long baggy top or two
Zip-Loc bags.
First aid kit, including 3” tape (which has many uses)
A portable clothesline.
Eyeglass repair kit (if yr bringing glasses),
Contact lens solution (you can get refills there)
Lots of hand sanitizer and packets of Handi Wipes / antiseptic towellettes (very imp. for
eating w/ hands)
Lots of mini Kleenex packets (for all those times when you're away from the hotel room and don't want to use your hand to wipe).
One of the most useful things I brought was a bandana which I brought everywhere -- very handy for wiping sweat and drying off glasses / plates / banana leaves so you don't take in any dirty water.
A Nalgene bottle.
Super C packets
Energy bars
Herbal Tea
Powder for miso soup (optional)
rain poncho
a small notebook
school pens!
sewing kit
Sudafed w/ dextramathorthan
a cable lock
pictures from home

If you forget anything you can get it there.....

You should make photocopies of your passport and credit cards and also
bring copies of your eyeglass and other prescriptions.

I brought a analog camera and it died; others have brought digital
cameras and had no problems. My alarm clock and my short-wave radio also
died....India is hard on things. But their batteries are the same size
as ours.

I brought a ton of $ and travelers checks and when I ran out I got a
cash advance on my Visa card; there are a couple of ATMs in Mysore where you
can do this. Other students will know where they are. The interest is
high, though, so as soon as I got an advance I e-mailed my sister-in-law
and told her to send a check to Visa for X amount of dollars.

FYI -- women’s bare shoulders / ankles are tre racy. Baggy is better....


Saturday, December 20, 2003

I've been so sick there's been no time to get ready for the trip. Apparently the new strain of flu they're all talking about really *is* ten times worse than normal. And I'm the first on my blog to get it!

But if I get better I'm going, starting Jan. 10. i