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"At the other side of the customs was a man I had never met with whom I had fallen in love with.and that at the time was the only reason I was there."
- Shellie Wilson

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Indian love from the first byte
by Shellie Wilson, 21, Canberra, Australia
Feb 17, 2000

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Travel has always been in my blood, but this time I was doing it on my own. 18 years old with love guiding my way I received all my pre-panic injections for what seemed like every disease known to man and swallowed my Anti-malaria pills like my life depended on it , which was no exaggeration and embarked on a journey of a lifetime .

The flight was long, the nerves were high and all I could recall was the comments for the past 3 weeks from friends and family , "Donít do it", "You will Get sick", "Young women shouldnít travel there", "Why oh why are you doing this?" and of course the "donít talk to any strangers" lecture from my mother.

I was the only white female arriving at Bombay airport. The queue for Customs was taking literally hours And if it hadnít been for my pre-bought bottle of water I probably would have died right there and then. Taking deep breaths I tried to stay focused on what had brought me to such a talked-about country - it was of course the love in my heart. At the other side of the customs was a man I had never met with whom I had fallen in love with.and that at the time was the only reason I was there.

Traveling thru the Bombay streets in the opened windowed taxi passing a working elephant and children running through traffic begging for coins was like traveling in a enchanted dream. This wasnít like it was suppose to be, this was beautiful, this was unique, this was Bombay .

An intoxicating smell filled the air and dragged me deep within its mysterious clutches. The sounds of prayers and music from the temples drifting thru my hotel window , the reality of a land with such intense culture and mystic came flooding in . Time was spent strolling along the busy streets of people filled with culture and darting between traffic trying to cross a road of endless traffic was like jumping into a pool and hoping you can back up for air. Each time seemed like a risk of survival.

If I didnít have a reason I would never have gone to Bombay and I would have missed out on such a cultural experience and such beauty. People see what they want to see when traveling, and if you want to look down and see the dirt and see the poor people at your feet then go to most capital cities and look down. But remember whilst looking down you are missing out on the faces of the people passing you by .

Forget everything you have ever heard about Bombay - to discover its beauty you have to go there for yourself sit in a cafť and enjoy a Cup of Indian Chai.

Now read about India from an Indian..

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