The Ultimate Meltdown
I was sitting in our hotel restaurant, joking over my shoulder with my new Rishikesh friends when I suddenly caught a glimpse of an unknown arrival who had sat herself down at my table. I turned to discover her twisted up face struggling to control that stressed-induced mania so common among visitors to India. Just as I noticed her indexed finger tapping uncontrollably on the table, the dam burst.
“I’ve been in the country for one week,” were her first words, skipping the introductions, “and now I’ve just gone down and booked a ticket out of this hell hole.”
Over the next hour and a half, the traumatized Australian women recounted the abuse and mistreatment she had endured in her very short time in India. Her sad story began with a graphic description of how she had woken up on the plane over with an Indian man lying on top of her fondling her. When she complained, the Indian flight attendant just shrugged and walked away. The Australian woman’s arrival in Delhi was a textbook case of all the con-artists, scams, fake tourist offices, lying taxi drivers, and groping hotel leeches that plague the city.
Her meltdown flowed with angry curses, wholesale condemnation, four-letter words, and bitter reflections on the inhumanity of Indians. I heard myself in her comments, and I heard the complaints of a hundred other travelers I had encountered. By the end of her politically incorrect tirade, she had commiserating fellow travelers clapping in recognition and sympathy. I suggested she just hide in the hotel for a few days, and then give India a second chance, but she would have none of that.
Two days later, she was back home in Australia.