Friday, March 16, 2012

1 week in India- Some things I have noticed

1 week in India and some things I have noticed.

1. I have yet to see any cockroaches or rats in Culcutta yet- whereas I had seen them every day in Asia and India is suppose to be dirtier.
2. The dogs are not your friends
3. Honking is part of their culture
4. They don't really have a word for 'please'
5. Cab drivers will Avoid using the meter at any cost and ultimately screw you over with the price asked. If you do get one with a meter, the price will be doubled (I have yet to find out why). Also, if you are carrying your backpack expect to pay double what that journey would normally cost.
6. Everyone will stare at you, get used to it. Although Indian men are generally shy and usually won't cat-call or touch you
7. Going on the internet is a process. Bring your passport and expect to get your photo taken
8. Buying a train ticket is a process. Bring your passport. Try and go to the tourist quota 2 days before departure. Use or Don't get MB (middle berth). I prefer the UB (upper berth) or SB (the side). This works good for sleeper class. If you don't want the hagglers and chai wallahs in your carriage, go for the AC section. Those get booked up months in advance, but there's something called Tatda (please someone correct me here because I forgot the spelling) that holds back AC tickets. If you go to the train station the day before at 8am, you can get one of these tickets for 200-300 Rps more expensive. If I'm with a friend I just go for sleeper class. It's really not so bad! Unless you're sick.
9. Getting accommodation is a process. Bring your passport. Try and call to make reservation because places get booked quick.
10. Don't let 9 year old girls give you henna. Even if it's cute at the time it is ugly for the next 30 days
11. Everything is interesting. If you give a drunk monkey a camera he will eventually snap a good photo, but give a camera to a drunk monkey in India and they will all be good photos.
12. Everyday you wake up and you play the game of India. Some days you win, most you lose, and some days you are really moody and just don't feel like playing their game. Those are days you should stay in your hotel/hostel.
13. If you plan on going higher up in altitude, bring appropriate clothes.
14. I can't believe how much pushing and shoving goes on at some of the places of worship. I was at the Kali temple in Culcutta and it was everyone for themselves. You would think that their religions- or any religious place anywhere, you would try and be respectful of others. But no. I guess they don't call Kali the God of Destruction for no reason!
15. Anytime you don't want something, like chai for example, a chai wallah is always around. But, anytime you actually want something like chai, you can't actually find it!
16. Everything sucks mad donkey balls when you're sick. And it's not a matter of if you will get sick, but when. YOU WILL GET SICK. And everything that was once interesting, will become tiring and horrible. Especially getting sick on a train. Not fun! Prepare to be in bed for a few days, so look for a good hotel with a tv. (They have Indian Discovery Chanel!) If you have antibiotics, and you should, just take them. It's definitely not the best approach, but it will put you back on your feet much faster than anything else. Don't take cloggers that block you up. There's obviously something that needs to come out.

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