We were now about half way through our trip and having a terrific time. What dangers had we come across?
1) Crowds – we were worried about losing the kids in the crowds – one often reads horrific stories about kids being abducted in foreign lands and there is no doubt that we were very careful about making sure the kids stayed within reach all the time. Actually, the only place where we had really worried about the crowds was in Mysore – other than that we had been in smaller, more remote places where our kids stood out for a mile. In fact, in India, our kids always stood out – our two boys are redheads!
2) Illness – we were brushing our teeth in bottled water, and the kids knew that they couldn’t swallow the water in the shower, or in the swimming pool. This was the theory – can you really stop a three year old from swallowing some water in the pool? We were trying not to eat any street food or unwashed fruit or vegetables, although we had dropped our guard in Mysore and I had suffered as a result.We trusted the fact that we had been well inoculated prior to the trip, and that we were taking our anti malaria tablets every day.
3) Insects and animals – we hadn’t taken rabies inoculations but we really had not come across many dogs. Eitan, our three year old had been bitten by red ants, but that was about the worst of it.
4) Pinching and petting – the one hassle that we came across often was the fact that total strangers, usually women, would walk up to the boys, especially Eitan aged 3 and Daniel aged 7, and either pet them on the head, or more often pinch their cheeks, or even sometimes slap them gently. While always seemingly a sign of affection, half way through our trip it was starting to really get on all of our nerves and becoming a real annoyance to the boys. By now, the boys knew to get out of the way if they saw a stranger coming towards them.
This never appeared to be a danger at all, but the kids had had enough of being pinched by now.
5) Traffic – with sidewalks sometimes non existent, we had to remain vigilant when walking in the streets. There could be no doubt that a kid stepping into the road would be in danger.
All in all, by our half way mark we were becoming less worried about the dangers and were easing into the relaxed attitude of South India!
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