India was challenging for me. Even if I arrived there thinking of being a well balanced, strong, and peaceful person, India really was able to touch few of my weak points, but it was a constructive experience because it tested me and gave me a wide perspective on myself.
Uncomfortable things about India
- The concept of personal space doesn't exist: Indians just get on top of you, and it's totally normal for them. They don't usually give you the way just for the sake of being kind, it's all about survival instinct there!
- They honk all the time and the streets are noisy, congested, and polluted. The only driving rule is: do whatever you want but make sure you honk so everybody else know.
- Communication with Indian is very difficult: few of them actually speak English. They can't say no, they bubble their head all the time and you don't understand a thing: it could mean yes, no, maybe, I don't care, or you are a nice person!
- Tourist prices are usually at least double Indian prices: you have to bargain for everything, and you loose the sense of what is a fair price, which actually varies a lot from town to town. Vendors call you all the time also from far away and hassle you.
- There are a lot of things that Indian women don't usually do. For instance, chai tea stalls on the streets are very popular among locals but I haven't seen any woman having tea there; there are very few women in the streets in the evening; you should cover your legs, shoulders, and wear loose clothes. As a woman I've been wearing long baggy or alibaba pants (btw very fresh!), tunics with long sleeves or t-shirts. It's very handy to have a scarf: every woman there is wearing a scarf over the chest or a sari. I've heard there are agencies that organize tours for Indian men to touristy beaches to watch western half naked girls...
- They croak and spit all the time, including women in this case!
- It's not cool to show any affection in public, the most you could do is holding your "husband" arm, and if he's not your husband maybe just say he is to not disappoint them!
- Indians stare at you with no shame, sometimes they also giggle at you and you have no idea why.
Funny things about India
- I think they are stock between the 70s and 80s: big mustaches, colorful overdecorated outfits, a ton of huge gold jewelry.
- They are crazy about weddings, saris, and jewelry. The streets are covered with ads of happy brides dressed like princesses with the the most luxurious silks and the heaviest earrings and necklaces.
- They eat with their right hands, and make a mess out of it: it's actually very entertaining looking at them eating.