The fun folks at Merriam-Webster define exotic as “strikingly, excitingly, or mysteriously different or unusual.” I now just picture India and call it a day.
I followed two colleagues to the other side of the world last week to cultivate relationships on behalf of the law school, and from a business perspective it was a successful trip. From a personal perspective, I brought home extraordinary memories of…
- Monkeys swinging over shoppers’ heads at a bazaar high in the Himalayas.
- The snake charmer on his punji serenading us and his little, slithering friend.
- Children playing cricket in the dirt in the searing heat.
- Men paving a road by hand.
- The “mad poetry” of Indian traffic (as my friend Jeff calls it), where cars, buses, scooters, bicycles, pedestrians, cows, dogs, auto rickshaws, motorcycles, and tractors dance to a symphony of horns.
- The morning sun peeking through the haze on the road to Agra.
- The stunning majesty of the Taj Mahal.
- Being one of only two people not wearing a turban in a large business meeting.
- The powerful aroma and flavors of rich Indian cuisine.
- Camels on the roadside.
- The unlimited potential of a scooter, from the wedging of toddlers between adults to beautiful women in colorful saris precariously riding sidesaddle to hauling more people and goods than a typical pickup truck.
- Cows everywhere—and the jarring appearance of a McDonald’s.
- A military man carrying a rifle grabbing breakfast in a convenience store.
- Conspicuously arriving at a skills center in full business suit and the stares from the long line of poor people awaiting an exam that could change their lives.
- The noble India Gate.
- Going behind the gates of the President’s House and seeing the formal guard dressed in bright red uniform with a feathered hat standing at attention.
- The magical city of Shimla at night.
- Colors. All of them. Bright and vibrant blues, greens, yellows, reds, oranges, purples…
I don’t really know what to do with all of these memories just yet. They are almost too much to process. Sadly, I suspect that I have already forgotten images that in any other context would be unforgettable.
What I do know is that the world is filled with exotic places. And that they are worth checking out.