Thursday, December 9, 2010

I Dream of India

As a lifelong traveler (I've been traveling since I was in the womb), I've come to associate different places with smells, noises, feelings. India is one of the places with the strongest associations for me. When my grandmother returns from India and opens her suitcases, I inhale deeply and think, "It smells like India." I can't describe the smell, some sort of sweet perfume particular to India. Other smells often remind me of India, including dust, urine, and jasmine.

I was thinking about this recently when in Taropoto and Yurimaguas, entrances to the Peruvian jungle. Everything reminded me of India. Every morning I awoke to motorcycle traffic, noise, and intense heat. It even smelled like India. And I was filled with a desire to visit India, despite the fact that I recently visited it in July. I crave India.

Do you associate smells or other sensations with countries?

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