Never mind that I don’t yet have vaccinations (nurse’s appointment is Tuesday), a visa (trip up to London on Wednesday) or a hotel for the Mumbai portion of our trip (ASAP).
What I do have is some new books, thanks to the excellent travel bookshop Stanfords in London’s Covent Garden.
My old Lonely Planet India guidebook is not only somewhere in one of the many boxes of books that we have yet to unpack, it’s the 1997 edition and was out of date when I bought it cheap for our first trip to India.
The whole-country guidebooks are also a bit much for this trip, given that we’re only going to two cities and won’t be venturing out to Darjeeling, say, much as I’d like to. (Having a three-year old and a nine-year old in two will be enough adventure I’m sure.)
It’s also our first trip without to India without my parents-in-law, so a couple of (hopefully) decent maps will be handy when we go to visit relatives in the suburbs.
Finally I also took the opportunity to pick up yet another Bengali book, thinking the Hindi portion could be useful in Mumbai (and knowing a bit of Hindi will be better, long-term, than trying to pick up Marathi I expect) and rationalising that a combined phrasebook means one less book to pack.