Myth #1: Traveling in India is dangerous
Before I went to India for the first time, I was warned to my teeth about how dirty and dangerous India is, especially by the doctor at the travel medical clinic. She really tried to put the fear of disease into me, and I went to India the first time loaded with precautionary supplies, pills and additional health insurance. Then I landed in Delhi at the very civilized home of my friend Ajay, who lives with his family in the Delhi equivalent of Forest Hill (one of the most upscale neighbourhoods in Toronto), and they laughed at all my stuff. When I did get sick I went to the local Max Medical Centre and after waiting about 10 or 15 minutes I got to see the British-trained head of internal medicine. The medical centre was spotlessly clean, modern and efficient, better than almost anything I’ve seen in Canada, and the visit cost 500 rupees or about $10.
At this point in my journey, about 10 days in, something began to dawn on me. I realized that many people in Canada, including me, were of the idea that India is a barbaric place. In fact, I found it to be very civilized. I no longer carry all those supplies and pills, I no longer buy extra health insurance. I practice caution, but I don’t assume the worst, I assume the best. And guess what? Continue Reading →