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Women-Centered India
A Mixed Bag of Travelling Tips

Womans Words in India
The International Feminist Bookshop and Info Centre in India is located at: #67, 2fl, Blumoan Complex, MG Rd., Bangalore, 560011, Karnataka. It stocks books, journal and posters. It also provides space for women to meet.

Run out of "on-the-road reading material while you're in India? Pick up a copy of" Femina", a woman's magazine along pre-Cosmos Western lines.
(Resource - Rough Guide, India)

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Veggie McDonald's - India
Don't even try to get a hamburger at New Delhi's first McDonald's outlet! For religious reasons, beef definitely will not be served. All menu items will be strictly vegetarian. Make that one all-dressed veggie burger to go, please!
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Zorba The Buddha In Agra
Please let other Journey women know about this very good vegetarian restaurant we found when we visited Agra. It won't be hard to remember the name. It's called "Zorba the Buddha."
Andrea Olivera, Toronto, Canada
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Male - Female Relationships in India
Try to avoid shaking hands with Indian men. They see this as a sexual come-on. Lots of people will want to shake your hand - respond with your hands pressed together at chest level, with a slight bow of the head. This is a traditional Indian greeting which avoids potentially misleading physical contact

Indian men often exhibit what we in the west would consider an adolescent sexuality - annoying, but rarely actually dangerous. Try not to get angry by what is considered grossly offensive in the west - men will touch your breasts, and scuttle off giggling. Take a deep breath, and let go. Be prepared for it, and don't let it spoil your trip.

If you are traveling with a male, call him your husband. It will make a huge difference in how you are treated. Even the most educated, urbanized Indians find the idea of unmarried couples traveling together, or, God forbid, sleeping together, really weird.

Have fun, enjoy the country, and don't let petty annoyances spoil your experience!
Siobhan Maderson, Absolute Asia, New York

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Most Modern Hospitals in Delhi
If you ever need a hospital while you're in Delhi, the two most modern private institutions are the Apollo Hospital and Batra Hospital. Any hotel should be able to supply their phone numbers.
Ajit A., Toronto, Canada
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Feeling Tired During Menstruation?
Having your period while you're travelling can make your body feel extra tired. Pack dried fruit (heavy on the apricots) in your backpack. Pop them during "period time." They'll help to replenish the iron your body has lost.
Melissa Putt, Healthy Habits, Canada
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What's On and TV Guide
Want to know what the locals know about restaurants, entertainment, local tours, films, sports, TV and shopping in Delhi? "delhi diary" is the weekly entertainment and TV guide on sale at newsstands in Delhi. Cost: RS. 8.00. A great help for visitors to the city.
Bayla, Delhi, India
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Hindus Offended By Leather Clothing
I traveled in Southern India. My family is originally from a state called Kerala in the southern part of India. We went for a short visit two years ago. The South tends to be a bit more conservative than other parts of India. I would advise women to leave their shorts and halter tops at home. If you take skirts make sure they are at least knee length. Not advisable to wear super clingy fabrics (loose cotton and other natural fibers are best).

In more religious parts of the country, Hindus may take offense if you are wearing clothing made out of leather (shoes are often excusable).As a foreign woman you will undoubtedly fall victim to catcalls, stares, physical advances etc. regardless of how you dress. For this reason it is advisable to travel with one or more people.
Bindu, New York, USA

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A Clothing Tip to Consider
One nice thing about travelling in India is that you don't have to worry about looking ultra-fashionable. In fact, the only way to fit in with fashion in India is to wear a sari or a punjabi suit. My favorite travelling item was a long, olive green skirt made from a polyester micro-fiber. It looked like silk and wore like steel. It also dried in about 1 hour in the sun, and did not need ironing. Also good for travelling in India are very loose fitting light cotton pants. If you are going to India, you need very few clothes because if you need something along the way, a tailor can make it for you in a few hours. Also make sure you take clothes that hide the dirt well, it is very dusty there.
Krista, Vancouver, Canada
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Understanding India
I'd like to offer a few comments on my experience of India. I went with a female friend and we both underestimated how long it would take to get around the country and how long it takes to do tasks we take for granted (e.g. buy a plane or train ticket, send a parcel at the post office0.

This meant we tried to do too much in too short a time and became incredibly frustrated, angry and eventually miserable. Unfortunately, this caused us to become suspicious of everyone - we were convinced everyone we met was trying to rip us off. This meant our interactions with Indians were never relaxed, never enjoyable. Importantly, there were occasions when someone we came across would be incredibly helpful and kind when we least expected it, (and for no apparent gain themselves).

We missed out on so much because of our negative feelings. We came away declaring we would never go back. Now, a few years later, I am very keen to visit India again. My friend still will not return, but I hope to. This time I shall go for longer, try to see less and hopefully handle the pace and the frustrations in something closer to my normal frame of mind. Nothing anyone tells you can prepare you for India, so taking time is the best suggestion I can offer.
Sandra Scott, Sydney, Australia





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