My Country: The Land of Milk and Honey

I have been in many, many shops and restaurants in Rishikesh and I discovered one thing after a while: if you don’t have the exact amount for your purchase or close to it, don’t expect to get change. At one restaurant, they left the premises and failed to find change at another shop, so I just said keep it and use it as a credit when I return, which I did the next day. At other shops, I would simply accept less than the exact change, whatever they had. There’s just not that much money out there.

Another thing I found out is that restocking is not the name of the game. Early in my visit, I was delighted to find one of my favorite white chocolate bars available at several stores, including the nearby general store. However, once I purchased the last bar from each of these establishments, restocking never took place—and I could tell you that because I frequented those shops in hopes that my white chocolate bar would magically appear.

My western expectations were not met in these cases. This is another reminder—apart from the small homes, beggars, and tent homes—that on my passport it should say for my country: Land of Milk and Honey.

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