• this is india smoking in india

This is India! (eight)

Welcome back to This is India! I always have funny/weird stories about India to share with friends or family when I talk to them. This is just meant to be an honest portrayal about my life in India through short anecdotes. I also share here what I’ve been up to online outside Werkenntwen.

What I was up to other than here:

  • Solo Female Journey: Talking India (and everywhere else) with Rachel Jones, an interview for Bren on the Road

Now for your story…

Another airport story coming at you from Mumbai! What can I say, weird shit is always happening at the airports here.

This one is short and sweet.

Security was on high alert at the Mumbai domestic airport for some reason. Usually I take through all kinds of things that should be examined and they aren’t, but this time they examined my camera, played around with my tablet, asked lots of questions about my external hard drive, and per usual during examination asked why I had a piercing in my belly button. They took Ben’s lighter when they found it (which is the protocol).

We head up to the food court and Ben goes off to the restroom. I’m typing away on my computer and smell smoke. I look behind me and there’s a passenger just smoking a cigarette, in an airport, security watching on. No big deal- after all that security and searching. Everyone loves smoking in India, but this was new.

This is India!

Did you enjoy this post? Let me know in the comments or by sharing it with the social media links! I’d love to keep giving you travel tricks & tips so feel free to subscribe by e-mail in the big purple box below. Don’t forget you can follow me on , , & bloglovin‘.

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About the Author:

Rachel Jones left a career in nursing and lived on the beaches of Goa, India for the five years. Now she lives in Mexico where she gives advice on the 40+ countries she’s visited in the last 10 years. She’s the author of two India travel e-books: Guide to India and Insider’s Guide to Goa. Her blog, Werkenntwen, like its name, is a contradiction combining off-beat adventurous places with glamorous and bespoke travel. Werkenntwen has been featured in ELLE, Marie Claire, Grazia, and Cosmopolitan magazines. She’s a writer for Bravo TV.


  1. Ken Kai July 25, 2014 at 9:23 am - Reply

    My partner keeps talking about India and wanting to go there. How do you find it Rachel? Anything you recommend? :)

    • Rachel Jones July 26, 2014 at 3:26 am - Reply

      I love India. I’ve been here since Oct 2012- living in Goa!

  2. Empty Rucksack July 25, 2014 at 9:15 am - Reply

    Never seen this one, you were lucky

  3. Justine July 25, 2014 at 2:49 pm - Reply

    Ha! That’s too funny that they always ask why you have a belly button piercing!!

    • Rachel Jones July 26, 2014 at 3:27 am - Reply

      Haha yes :) one time a woman doing a massage left the room and came back with her 2 friends to show them lol.. I was shocked

  4. Elora July 26, 2014 at 8:54 pm - Reply


  5. Agness July 27, 2014 at 11:10 pm - Reply

    You are such a lucky girl!! That never happened to me :)!

  6. The Guy July 28, 2014 at 11:06 am - Reply

    I can certainly relate to that. Yesterday I went through Chennai ariport and they were pulling my hand luggage aside rummaging away. They then said to me “You have a lighter?” To which I said no, I don’t smoke.

    They continued on rummaging away determined to find it. Re-scanned then gave up. Commotion over.

    Yes a fair few Indians smoke but I think it is more prevalent in China.

    As for breaking the rules, well I think both are quite open about it and these security inconsistencies.

    On a positive note though the new airport terminals in India are a massive step forward from what they were! Only 2-3 years ago they were death defying holes; now they are state of the art, 21st century beacons of air travel. Long overdue and well done India.

    • Rachel Jones July 30, 2014 at 7:17 am - Reply

      Yes I love the new international airport in Bombay! it’s great although still had some issues with signs not working while I was there the last 2 times.

  7. Victoria July 29, 2014 at 2:30 am - Reply

    I’m not surprised Rachel. I love India, but “rules” can be so inconsistent and borders on the “it depends” situation but the belly-button reference is a hilarious one. As for smoking? When I went to Delhi, I asked for a non-smoking room as I don’t smoke, what did I get? A room full of ashtrays and a huge sign saying “NO SMOKING” LOL!
    P.S. I haven’t seen your posts on my wordpress feeder for a while could you check your end as I love reading your posts….!

    • Rachel Jones July 30, 2014 at 7:10 am - Reply

      hahah too funny about the room with ashtrays & a no smoking sign! I e-mailed you about that wordpress feed- I’m not sure what’s going on there or where to look to fix it!

  8. Victoria August 4, 2014 at 9:25 am - Reply

    Pretty strange, there has been a glitch in my form so I’ll just subscribe with you on your blog. I’ve been trying to put blogs subscribe to all together on my feed, but no worries. Here I cooooooome!

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