We did some recalculating and tried to figure out what we wanted to do with our last week. We had planned on heading to Chennai to visit Steve Hepting (on a work term). We figured it would take about 3 days of busses and trains to get there, with not much interesting in between. We didn’t really want to spend the rest of our trip on transportation so in a moment of great spontaneity, we jumped on a SpiceJet flight to Delhi (a good experience) planning to head into the mountainous north. This would put us closer to Delhi where we need to be for our flight at the end of the week. Unfortunately we are stuck in Delhi for a day so we decided to point out some observations about daily life in India.
holy cows – everywhere. They sniff and snort through the garbage like street dogs and find a comfortable place to crash for the night in one big, bovine group.
Women in India are generally invisible. I’m virtually non-existent unless by myself. People will also rush up to us to say hello to Steve and ignore me. Gotta love male dominant societies.
Indians love to get their pictures taken with foreigners and then tell everyone they know about their “friends” from abroad.
Elbow fungus. Amie has developed it from resting her elbows on tables while eating.
Who knew you could get a chest / sinus cold in such a hot country.
Garbage. People will even throw garbage around their own homes and restaurants and wonder why their neighborhood is filthy.
Perceptions of westerners. Indians care about their appearance and don’t understand why all travellers dress sloppy, wear dreadlockes, look like hippies.
Chai. Milk tea + cardamom + black pepper + ginger. Everyone drinks it all the time out of small plastic cups.
Middle class India thinks they are going to overtake the West as a superpower. They obviously haven’t spent enough time in the West – we aren’t doing too bad for progression either.
Questions we have been asked a million times in order of importance. “hello, what country?” “What your name?” “first time India?” “How old?” Any answer you give is satisfactory – they just want to know you have understood. After the complete annoyance of saying my name to hundreds of passerbyers, I often say I am John, a 35 year old from Africa. They still nod and smile.
Networking. People in the tourism business have a nasty network of autorickshaw drivers, hotel owners, and restaurant operators – a good deal from one will probably lead to a screwing over from a relative working in a different but connected business.