Here are the 10 things you need to know about India!
I am still working on my detailed travel story from India but I feel that I owe you some spoilers. And so, I have noted down all my general observations about India.
1.India is a country of contrasts
On the same street you may see both splendor and poverty.
2. India is an emotional rollercoaster
What you see and experience will stay in your mind and your heart forever. I will always remember that few hours spent at the train station in Agra: all waiting passengers, lying down on the platform; dark and dirty trains without light and with only wooden benches; young children playing on the tracks and running around the trains collecting leftovers.
3. India is also a state of mind
During four weeks I visited 4 locations: Pune, Goa, Agra and New Delhi and every place followed the same scenario: People are super nice and gracious. They love sharing their culture, especially when it comes to food. Every time when we ordered food, whether it was in a local bar or in a restaurant, the waiter always suggested some dish. Sometimes they did not even want to listen to us. I do not know if it was just a marketing gimmick to sell the customer the leftovers or, in fact, a sign of hospitality. Anyway, we always went for that proposed dish and we never regretted it!
4. High temperatures are probably not helping the work productivity
No matter if you are in some local bar or if you are checking in at the airport – it takes ages!
5. Indian people love stamps!
I have experienced it even in a grocery store: my receipt was stamped by the cashier as the proof of payment and also by the guard outside when I was leaving the building. Crazy, I know:) You can spot it also at the airport. The same ticket is usually stamped twice: once during the baggage check-in and then during the security scan. What’s more each piece of hand luggage also has to have its own ticket and each of them must be stamped by the appropriate officer! In India, if you have a stamp, you rule!
6. Speaking of rules, there are no rules of the road
Actually, I am wrong! there is one rule: “if you see some space, just go ahead!” I cannot describe it, you have to see it, you have to experience it! To be honest, sometimes I did not want to look at this, just closed my eyes and allowed my driver to do his job 🙂
7. Holy cow!
You probably know that cows in India are treated in a very special way. But you do not expect to find them everywhere. I mean it! On the streets, in the city center, on the sidewalk, in front of a shop or restaurant, at the beach, everywhere:)
8. Indian people have their own body language (or actually a head language!)
They shake their head from side to side and it may be really confusing for outsiders. Without the Indian cultural background you are unable to realise if it means yes or no:) I remember my first training session in India, I was explaining something to my colleague and he silently shook his head. I was shocked, I took it as a sign of ignorance or lack of respect but I was wrong. This head movement basically means: yes, sure, no problem, understood, fine etc. Sometimes it is not very visible, if you don’t know about it you may even not notice it. But once you learn this, you will see that YOUR head is unconsciously moving as well from one side to the other 🙂
9. Do you know the smell of Indian food? This is how whole India smells
I remember my first thoughts when I got off my plane in Bangalore last year: Wow, so hot and so curry! The mixture of Indian spices drifts in the air. And if you love Indian food like me you would like to eat all day long.
10. Deli belly is not just the myth, unfortunately
I have already admitted that I love Indian food. At least once a month I have some Indian dish and I know that they are quite heavy but I have never experienced any stomach issues here in Dublin. Yes, HERE….. Because THERE in India I had some rough times. But I think this is something that you will not avoid, unless you kill it with great amount of alcohol:) I am not much of a drinking person, so I had to suffer. But it was worth it.
For those who have ever been to India – does it sound familiar? 🙂