There are 98 hours left until I leave for India and the little countdown in my head has officially begun.

Not only have I never been there before, but I’ve never been anywhere near Asia so this is a fairly big deal for me, even without including the “very dangerous” aspect of this particular adventure. My tickets are long since bought, multiple vaccines stoicly tolerated (with the nurses somehow unimpressed by this incredible feat), driving permits acquired, equipment more or less obtained – medi-kit, penknife, head-torch, mosquito repellent, dry bags and other hopefully unbelievably useful items – and flip flops are at the ready. All that’s left is to count down the days, get to London Heathrow in one piece and pray for a blissful lack of turbulence and babies nowhere in sight of my seat.

I’m probably asking for a lot.Plane humour

A measly 15 hours after leaving I’ll arrive in Guwahati, north-east India, and then I break out the phrase book and hope they’re able to understand a form of terribly pronounced Hindi*. It’s at times like this that my stubborn avoidance of learning foreign languages bites me in the proverbial backside, not that I would have learned an Indian dialect anyway, but that’s not the point. A swift bout of embarrassment at both myself and my country’s terrible linguistic education system always co-occurs such thoughts and I decide, as I have frequently of late, that I’ll learn another language presently. . . we’ll have to wait and see how that goes.                                                                                                                                 *or can actually speak English

Yesterday I received a kindly reminder of what’s to come along with the following:

WARNING – THE RICKSHAW RUN IS DANGEROUS

All caps lock, all bold. At least they’re being nice and positive. I think what they’re essentially trying to say is – don’t drive like an arse – oh wait, they go on to say exactly that. Well, thank you Mr and Mrs Organisers, I’ll do my best, I can’t speak for the rest of the road users though and I can’t say I’ve heard encouraging things from across the continent. How hard can it be to traverse a country 20 times bigger than the UK and a lot more populated in a 3 wheeled, lowly powered machine, open to the elements and designed for short, sharp journeys? No, but seriously, I can’t wait to go, elephants, motorised traffic and all.

On the fundraising front we’ve raised well over £3000 with more on the way, but with only 4 days until our trip we’re still short of our target! Whatever our end total, it’s going to make a real difference but if you’d like to donate then follow the link below.

To find out more about the charity Chiks, what we’re doing or to sponsor us click here

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