Impromptu

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “FAQ.”

So I was traveling, like always, this weekend. You will be witnessing the travelogue soon enough, but until then I will narrate a part of the journey to you that was not only surprising, but also candid and refreshing. Unlike my usual stint of solo traveling, this time I ended up in a huge group comprising not only of awesome people like myself <wink, wink> but also a group of foreigners who have just arrived in India in the month of July. 

It’s easy to talk when people are friendly and have extremely naughty five and four year olds with them. The husband emulates the southern American charm that you often read in novels. The slow drawl, the gentlemanly gestures and a hearty laugh describes him well enough. (If you are unable to imagine it, you should watch the movie Sweet Home Alabama) His wife on the other hand, takes time to open up, but is very warm and charming and had animated features which suits her job as a drama teacher. The 3 kids can be described best as impish cherubs.   There is not some particular order to this Q&A; it was just a conversation that involved five adults and three kids. 

While some of us like cashews and raisins and other kinds of nut family members, those allergic to all kinds of nut may find it troublesome when you are faced with eating Maharashtraian cusinie like poha. We decided to keep the conversation light since the kids were present, so mainly it revolved around food. It is always presumed that the American food is all about junk food and quick fixes. But as, Tiffany revealed, you go outside the city to the southern states like Kentucky and Tennessee, meals become more hearthy and wholesome. Unlike Indian breakfast, protein plays an integral part in it. While I am satisfied with a simple dish like idli-dosa or cereal with milk, many American families prefer to have some protein component like eggs or bacon along with their cereal or pancakes. 

As a part of Internation teaching committee, they have been traveling for a long time. But they have never been an active participant of the typical tourist craze. Having a teaching job and two boisterous kids makes it difficult to travel on a whim. However out of all the countries they have visited, Peru was their biggest regret since they were not able to explore it. And, Jordan was the one that created memories. Not only the boys were born in Jordan, but unlike the misconceptions that people possess towards middle east countries, they were safe and were able to explore the place and mingle with the locals. It was fascinating to hear about Bedouin culture from the perspective of a teaching family. The discussion involving misconceptions that people have towards different places was unraveled and a healthy discussion followed through. 

One thing that definitely intrigued me is that despite the numerous tour packages that are available, there are hardly any tourist activities available for kids. It’s not easy to keep a child occupied when you are visiting the locale. The place that we visited (still keeping it a surprise!!) had plenty of opportunities for kids to not only relax, but kept them busy as well.   The husband-wife duo actually asked me if we can suggest more places that can live up to both adult and kid expectations. But I actually came up with a blank. Quite surprising that people never consider traveling with respect to kids. 

The day might be over, but some conversations do leave a mark.  

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