I confess I’ve been to India 5 times before, so in some ways I was prepared for the intergalactic difference that India represents compared to the Australian culture. However, Kerala is the tame version of India and a good entry point if you have not been before. Also, India is rapidly changing and in some ways, is vastly different to my first visit many years ago. Nevertheless, travelling always brings with it ups and downs and no matter how much research and prior preparation I do there is inevitably something that goes a bit awry. For me it was the visa process and then arriving during Onam. Onam is a Keralan festival and I certainly wasn’t prepared for the extent of the Onam celebrations (a week of scattered public holidays and university and college shutdowns). Then there is the Indian student Visa…… I’d spent 4 months trying to get the visa back in Oz but still managed to have the wrong one when I got to India. So back to immigration in Kerala for another round of forms, photos, questions and sitting around for hours playing with your mobile – this is thankfully a development that does make things in India a lot easier – smart phones.