There is nothing like cricket as an ice-breaker. Forget alcohol, nothing gets strangers bonding faster than a fallen wicket or two. On the train to Delhi, everybody was minding their own little business until news of the match started trickling in. India and Sri Lanka were having one of those "make-or-break" matches (aren't they all?) and it was nearing a nail-biting finish. Suddenly, there were these little cliques being formed underneath the upper berths and in the corridors. Folks who hadn't even acknowledged each other's presence for the last twelve hours or so, were now bosom buddies. The only words that I could make out from the babble were "wicket", "last ball, dada", "herey jaabe" (they will lose), among many others.
If you are a fan of Chinese cuisine, never try it at an unknown place. I tried chili chicken at some obscure restaurant in Dalhousie(the hill station) and will probably rue it till the end of my life. Or, if you still want to try it, choose a place which can spell the names of the dishes correctly, at least.
"The Picture of Dorian Gray" makes for a great train read. I finished it in a few hours while returning to Kolkata.
Gloves don't make your hands warmer. They just prevent your hands from getting cold-ER. This in itself is not very helpful if your fingers have already been rendered comatose. Ask us, we KNOW.
Don't snigger, all ye backpackers. Carry a small electric kettle when you are traveling to colder climes. The kettle is a boon for all the moments when you can't force the icy water down your throat.
The mountains can be an ideal place until you need to find an tetanus shot for a friend who just cut himself. The journey to the chemist shop, to the doctor's chamber(which did not keep the medicine) and the interim is like a "hideous dream". It was the technical equivalent of a mini trek.
DO NOT trust the locals when they tell you that your destination is just a few minutes away, or even one and a half hours away, for that matter. These folks probably took their baby steps on the cliffs which you are huffing and puffing your way up.
Watch this space for further pearls.