India has the worst pillows and beds in the world. The simple act of sleeping should not result in shooting back pain and the need to visit a chiropractor.
My neck should not be twisted in a knot and aching after resting it on a pillow. Even some of the better places we’ve stayed at had thin, forlorn pillows and rock hard beds.
In Goa, I had a pillow that felt as if it were filled with ball bearings. I could have given someone a concussion with it in a pillow-fight. This pillow could stop a bullet. The pillow could be used as an anchor on a ship. And so on…
I dropped the pillow on the bed. It landed with a resounding THUMP, dust flew up all around the room and I heard the desperate, panicked beating of wings as nearby birds hastily took flight. That is no exaggeration. Ok, maybe a little.
We’ve taken many sleeper trains in India that feature a wooden plank covered with vinyl for a bed. There is no expectation of comfort for these utilitarian sleeping spaces and yet they have been exponentially more comfortable than our average guesthouse bed. It isn’t supposed to be like that.
In Hampi, Kristi whined and moaned as she tried to fall asleep. Sleeping shouldn’t hurt or cause a person to cry out in pain. I thought she was being overly dramatic until I went to bed and discovered that my boney parts dug into the framework below. There was no comfort to be had; laying on my side caused my shoulder and hip tremendous pain, laying on my back hurt my tailbone and spine. Cadavers in morgues have better sleeping arrangements.
We see Ayurvedic massage and healing centers all over India. I wonder if there are so many because Indians have acute neck and back pain due to the beds? At Goa, there was an Ayurvedic center on site. Were the beds and pillows so horribly uncomfortable on purpose in order to promote the massages, or did the massage clinic come into being as a result of so many tourists suffering chronic pain?
I am not homesick, not at all ready to give up this trip. But my back is ready to go home and it reminds me of this every morning when I wake up in agonizing pain, as if an elephant stepped on me during the night.
Do you enjoy metal-slab beds and pillows stuffed with rocks?