For the last few years I have fantasised about India. The fragrance, the textures, the tastes and the noise. The decadence and the dirt. I knew that one day I would do whatever I needed to do in order to visit the country that was a mysterious, enticing dream to me.
Cue January sales.
It’s happening. Last minute deal. Absolute steal.
I’d happily go and travel alone again, I thought (much to my parents’ horror). Or – do any of my good friends want to go with me? ANY TAKERS? That would be cool. I knew as soon as I saw that deal online that I was definitely going to go (subject to work giving me the OK, which luckily they did!)…But I knew the chances of any of my friends also wanting / able to jet off to New Delhi in a few weeks time was pretty slim.
Alone it is.
I thought I should be a good daughter and keep my Mum in the loop. I sent her a text message.
“Hey Mum. I’m going to book a trip to India tonight. Wanna come?”
I smiled to myself at my hilarity. Of course Mummy Mulligan won’t want to go to India. Carolyn Routine Mulligan. Carolyn Everything Must Be Clean Mulligan. Carolyn The Biggest Worrier In The World Mulligan.
Beep Beep. My phone buzzed.
Hey Mum. I’m going to book a trip to India tonight. Wanna come?
I’m sorry, what?
Of course, I gave her a call to clarify that she meant to agree to something else. Such as Dad wanting confirmation that dinner would be at 6pm like it has been every evening for the past 30 years of their marriage.
To my disbelief, my Mum wanted to travel to India with me. And not just lie on a beach and be served cocktails (she wouldn’t like that anyway because she gets sun stroke really easily). But she actually wanted to travel through the North of India with me, exploring, travelling by train, making our way to the foothills of the Himalayan mountains.
I am beyond excited! I know I make fun of Mummy Mulligan, but she knows I love her dearly and she knows she is one of my best friends.
MUM AND DAUGHTER ADVENTURE.
But now the departure date is very fast approaching, I think it has dawned on her what she has signed up for. When I was trying to explain to her what the humidity would feel like – she gulped and her face turned grey.
She has turned to buying Yakult drinks and over-priced probiotic tablets in an attempt to prepare her stomach for what’s to come.
Her Google search is an obsessive repetitive list of ‘Weather in Delhi’ / ‘Tourist scams in India’
She is losing sleep at night at the thought of not being able to drink Yorkshire tea.
“I’m taking my own teabags.” She told me.
I’m going to just let her be and do her thing. But I can’t wait to see her face light up as we sample chai tea together. The real deal.
The countdown to India begins!
!!! I feel I must mention that whilst writing this blog post my Mum text me. I’m not even making this up. Do you know what she sent?
“Shame weather is terrible. How is your foot? Have you been taking Yakult?”