Tuesday, June 28, 2011

India part 2: the good, the bad and the nauseating

Before I got to India i watched Slumdog Millionaire. It was my entire knowledge of the place. I was dreading every toilet being like the one on the beach....thankfully it wasn't quite as bad as that. What follows is random thoughts on aspects of Indian life. Nothing is exaggerated.

It's so tiring. There's never anywhere to sit. They don't believe In benches or just a wall to perch your arse. If they had them they'd just be covered in dirt, rubbish and people.

You see women sweeping dust from the middle of the road. They never do anything with it. They don't bag it or take it away. Just sweep it to the edge so the next day they're back again sweeping the same dirt.

I'm not sure I ever saw a rubbish bin. Ever. Indians don't care. Just throw it to the side. A dude on a bus once shook my hand because I put my empty water bottle in my bag and not out the train window. He still exhorted me to throw it. He even leant over me to open the window.

"Dude" I said, "it's a beautiful country. Why would you cover it in crap?"

You use your hotel room as a sanctuary. Your own little private bit of piece away from the chaos. If you've got a room away from the ever present noise. Oh, the noise..its constant. 24 hours a day the tuktuks are fighting on the street. Theres an area of Mumbai where they're banned and its like z different country: clean, civilised, nice.

There are people selling fruit everywhere but mist of ggf time you're scared to eat it got z single reason: they splash it with water to make it more attractive. Now and again you break and have some because you're hungry and fedup of eating crisps. All the time hoping this isn't the time you get dysentery...

You walk out the door and there are people. Everywhere. All the time. Where are they all going? What do they do? What purpose do they serve? You see very easily how they fit a billion people in the country.

Ever gagged walking down the street? How about smelt a smell so overpoweringly awful you've vomited instantly? Then had to run to get away to relatively clear air? Been there. Done that.

You've not been to India until you've seen someone taking a dump in the street. Or seen a dead dog. Or a dead body. There is no-one to take care of these things.

You've never seen somebody sleep until tube seen someone by the side of a major highway fast off. The indian ability to sleep is legendary to indian travellers. They can do it anywhere, at anytime, in any condition, in any position.

You've never crossed a road until you've had to weave through 5 lanes of tuktuks, all beeping their horns, spewing out vile smoke. I'd love to see statistics for people who get into road accidents once they've left India because you get so amazingly confident at it. The trick is never to stop walking. If you have a phobia get yourself to India. I never saw a single accident. I couldn't work out if they were awesome drivers or very bad. There could be two official lanes but 5 lines of traffic. They never look when turning. They just...GO!

Youve never eaten indian food until you've done it in India. It's so gorgeous. You can order the same thing in 5 different restaurants and have 5 different meals. They all interpret it differently.

You've never felt like a piece of crap until you've looked into the blind eyes of a 3 year old boy and said no, you wont be giving him money. That tug on the trouser leg before I saw him was...hard to take.

There are women just sat there waiting for you to give them money. Their main selling point? They'll have a kid, and OCD seen them at least 10 years old, fast asleep on their lap. I said above they can sleep anywhere but I suspected these kids were drugged. What kid could sit there all day otherwise? Well, Indian kids could to be honest...

You've never been ill...
You've never realised how low your standards can get...
You've never realised what little you need in your life...
You've never realised how brutally hard life actually is...

You've never done ANYTHING until you've done it India style. Go there. Please.

PS Travellers in India are so fucking smug. Yes, you're in India. So am I! Get over it!

PPS and the bloody hippies...

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