Oh yes, the backpackers. Completely individually they are traveling the country with the Lonely Planet in their hand. They meet outer backpackers in the Blue Lassi Shop in Varanasi, after they have “done” the South. They tell you how amazing everything is, whom they have met and discuss peace and freedom. Yes, I am also guilty.
I am waiting at a bus stand in a city in Haryana. With a lot of luggage. Two backpacks: A big one on my back and a small on in front of me on the floor. If I had not carried presents for my hosts it would have been just one and a lot anger less. But I got acquainted with the culture, as the good anthropologist or human that I am.
My mum came to visit me in India and for some days, I am a very normal tourist. This brings advantages and disadvantages. The biggest problem is that I am not a guest anymore, but a pocket full of money.
But whoever just eats food from home, did not understand India: Food is everything. Really everything. I could not imagine something worse than being invited at someones home and to reject food. To serve a meal for your guest means a lot to the Indian people
Everywhere, people talk about "thinking out of the box" as a demanded soft-skill. Where if not in anthropology, do you learn it better? I have learned unbelievably much about the rules of our own society.