Tourist or Traveler

I always get upset when people call me a tourist. For me a tourist is someone who travels to different places to see the places they are told to see in the guide books. I usually prowl the back streets, peeping in doorways and confronting the native population. I avoid most castles,gardens and famous monuments but in India, one must visit at least a few of the
Last night I had gone to the famous temple in Thanjavur,India just before sunset, to find crowds of people wandering around the temple grounds,up and down stairs,in and out of the temple doors. One has to remove shoes past a certain point. I was terrified someone would steal them but then realized most Indian people coming to a holy site,would probably be afraid to commit such an act. I had no fear that a tourist would steal my dirty,dusty shoes. I decided the sun would be in a much better location the next morning so I left the huge groups of tourists with their guides and grabbed the usual motor rickshaw,cheaper than a taxi with natural AC. I wanted to explore the town so the driver dropped me in the center of town. The moment i put my foot on the ground, I was overwhelmed by the chaos. India has noise pollution as well as air pollution. Dodging cars, horses, rickshaws, motocycles and buses at the same time with a million horns honking sent me running back to the hotel. I seem to have reached my limit in Indian cities. Hoping for a tasty dinner since my hotel was respectable witha huge swimming pool and cable television, my food was probably some of the worst on this trip. Back to the supermarket for mango juice,cashews and cookies.
Not being an early riser unless i have a plane to catch, I reached the temple today at 9 am. When I realized there were not many people around,I realized you have to take your shoes off and the stones become so hot, most people are coming late in the date when the sun cools off. It was hard to photograph because there were so many obstructions all over as well as people selling food. By ten am, the heat had begun to intensify and I decided to escape inside to an AC environment and do some business. Tonight I board the Mysore express for
of course, Mysore and the beginning of my trip to the west side of south India.

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