We are in India! We did it! And the bikes survived too! In just a bit less than 10.000 km we managed to get to the subcontinent. Things here are really different from anything we had seen before, but everything seems usual. We’ve seen so many different things (not to say weird) that even seeing cows blocking the highway seems normal to us.
We go with an open mind and every time we cross to a new region we always try to forget all the stereotypes and prejudges we had. But after only 24 India shows you all the stereotypes.
There are cows everywhere, literally, in the middle of the city blocking the roads, eating trash or doing whatever they want to. And nobody seems to mind! If you ask the locals they say that it’s a free country, and that means not only people but cows too can do as they please!
But cows are not the only animals you see wandering around; dogs (lots of dogs), cats, squirrels, donkeys, goats, camels … you name it, for sure you can find it somewhere around.
Yes, everything is spicy here. Don’t take me wrong, I’m not complaining, I do like spicy food, but here everything is. So far we didn’t try dishes people say that burns your mouth, but it seems that even the bread it’s a bit hot. Apart from that, it’s great that there are so many vegan things, and most everything is! There are lot’s vegetarians and here eggs are not considered as such, so I only have to worry about dairy products.
Asking directions is complicated, the never really say that they have no clue where somewhere is, so they will just make something up. They many times shake their heads in a way I don’t understand what it means (nor make the same movement with my own head), and they send you in a random direction (if you are lucky in the one you need to go). We met a couple who were travelling In India, and they always asked five people, and if they had two matches they trust them!
Then some not nice things are also true. We thought that the so many extremely poor people lived mainly in the slums, but the slums are basically everywhere. In between modern buildings (guarded by private security of course), there are people literally living with a plastic bag as a roof by the side of the road. We haven’t even seen the big slums, but I’ve never seen such extreme poverty, whole families sharing a bed on the pavement, beggars … it’s really sad.
And as always this people are the ones that seem “happier”, they smile more and the wave more at us. Like in most places, the people who have less have treated us the best.
But if I had to say what’s what is more surprising I would say the colors and noise. It’s so loud here, everything is noisy: people, cars, animals, and specially the auto rickshaws! … I guess it would take some time to get used to.
And I really like everything being so colorful. The clothes people wear, specially the women, are so bright, so full of live. But everything is painted in some eye catching way, mixing lots of colors.
It’s true that I said many times that we could skip India and just go more east, but after all (and only having been here a day), I think I might in fact like it.
India, don’t even think of letting us down, you’ve made a great first impression!