For the first time a traveler to India food can become a major source of fear.
“Will I get a belly in Delhi?”
The answer is resolute: “Most likely!” but don’t let that delay you from traveling through the most ridiculously magical country on Earth.
Okay, back to the banana. Here’s how to eat a banana in India. Hold it by the stem with one hand and gently clean with the other … until it looks like eating one at home. But here’s the important part – you have to make sure that if you touch the banana outside, you don’t touch the part you’re going to eat.
Why? You can get sick not the banana itself, but germs in any tiny drops of water, etc. on a banana outside. So with any peeled fruit just don’t touch them on the outside and then on the inside of them – it’s a little tricky with oranges, but you have it all.
For the same reason, you shouldn’t take salads in restaurants or the free glass of water they give you while eating. A salad would be delicious, but the water in which it is washed may cause a desire to die. In some restaurants that serve foreigners, they may tell you that they have “filtering water” and this will be normal for you, so it’s not a general rule, but be guided by the neighborhood – if it’s a five-star hotel, you’re right about anything eat because it’s all made for alien food, but if you’re in a small roadside kiosk in the middle of nowhere-ganja and all the patrons are there, then take it for granted, otherwise you can ruin your holiday. Also, never travel to India without insurance, you don’t want to get sick if you don’t get a call from anyone.
As for getting Delhi-belly the first traveler to India, here’s the consensus. Most people actually get sick in the first week when they eat even at reputable local restaurants, more specifically when eating from roadside stalls or drinking something with milk or yogurt where the local power supply is unstable (it’s ubiquitous, by the way). But with dozens of repeat travelers I know personally, none of them ever got sick on their next visit, except perhaps for a cold here and there.
It looks like your body just needs Indian baptism, so you’re fine. It can be said that it is baptism by fire and water. But it’s worth it, because once India gets under your skin, not to mention your digestive system, you’ll never be the same.
And one more thing about bananas – they can be deadly in many ways. Don’t eat them in front of hungry city monkeys, otherwise you may have a nasty fight – did I mention travel insurance?