Stepping into India

Stepping into India

The best way I can describe India is “organized chaos.”

From the moment you step out of the airport, you are whiplashed with the realization that you are, in fact, within a developing country and far, far away from the western world and ways.

It is sensory overload with the sights, smells, sounds, and combustion of people.

What you see in this picture are some common blatant sights in India that you should be aware of beforehand. India is a beautiful country and culture, but can be a shock to a first time traveler there.

Roadways in India

The roads in India are…lively?

There is a constant combustion of scooters, motorbikes, buses, cars, cows, cabs, wheel barrels, bicycles, and anything else that can be used as a way of transit.

And they all will come within inches of one another.

You can literally stick your hand out of and high five someone.

There are no set traffic laws in India (there really isn’t a set anything.). Everyone is weaving in and out of here and there, driving on all sides of the roads, and to add to the chaos, everyone is honking.

If you are going to India then you will use some form or transportation. Only the bravest rent motor bikes or scooters and drive themselves!

If it is your first time receiving an Indian style ride it can be alarming to say the least.

My advice…hang onto your seats and enjoy the bumpy, winding, loud, and unpredictable ride!

A group of locals enjoying what is to them a leisurely ride.

Beggers in India

Beggers, they are EV.ERY.WHERE. No matter where you go in India there will be a dirty child, a disabled man, a disheveled woman, or even a skin and bone street dog begging for something.

Oddly enough, I had a harder time turning away from the begging dogs than the begging people.

But who could deny THIS face?! Not me.

It’s hard to deny money to a single mother holding a child on her hip wearing ripped clothing, but if you gave to everyone who approached you, you would be left empty handed yourself.

Try to remember that half of them are not as unfortunate as they look. Some are scammers using whatever tactics they can to gain an extra rupee.

Often, parents will force their children onto the streets to beg, rather than providing them with an education.

As for the rest of the beggers, they will survive with or without your five rupee donation. When I found myself feeling compelled to give, I always gave food instead of money.

A child of poverty offering flowers in exchange for…anything.

India is Covered in Rubbish

I do believe if it weren’t for all the cows, dogs, monkeys, goats, and pigs running amok and eating all the trash, it would easily rise to the ankles.

Everyone “disposes” of their garbage by burning it (you will find smoldering piles of rubbish all along the streets). If it isn’t burned then it’s simply tossed on the ground.

Even the parcels meant for trash (and filled with it) end up getting burned (plastic and all), or dumped onto another area of earth.

This was one of the hardest things for me to get used to. Just straight littering.

Finally I just had to accept that no matter how hard I tried to find an ecologically friendly way to dispose of my trash, it would end up either burned, dumped onto the earth, or eaten by a cow.

All of  India’s trash disposal methods are within this photo. Tossed, burned or eaten by a cow.

The Staring

This last one is plain and simple. The staring! This is more noticeable if you are a foreign girl, but any foreigner can expect to be relentlessly gawked at by the locals.

And every one of them will want to shake your hand and take a photo.

Some may even request to take pictures with or of you. Rest assured, there is nothing coming out of your nose, they are simply excited and curious about you.

A Resourceful Folk

There is a saying in India, “Sub kuch malega.” It means anything is possible. And my god, do they mean it.

By far the best photo that depicts India and it’s unique methods and resources. Pretty sure this is an Indian RV.

India uses it’s full potential, utilizing everything and anything it can in every way possible. To say they are resourceful is an understatement.

This is something, I believe, western society could learn a lot from.

Within the endless crowds, heaps of garbage, loud roads, and utter chaos… there is peace, serenity, beauty, and genuine happiness radiating from a culture that appreciates everything they have.

 

Remember, it is a developing country. Its wild tactics and outrageous ways will always leave you with a pleasant reminder that you are in India.

India and it’s organized chaos will always hold a special place within my heart.

You might also like:

Traveling in India – How to Do it Like a Local

5 thoughts on “Stepping into India

  1. I love everything about India. Dirt, crowds, color, smell…mmm. I have observed much more than just the "dirt" But is there really anywhere in India where there are not beggers or trash? Not anywhere that I've been. But please, don't get me wrong. I ADORE India for this. Trash and all. This post is intended to give people a solid heads up about what to expect upon entering the developing country. I wasn't going to portray the country as a clean, easy, butterfly filled, wonder. I wanted to inform people of some of the raw truth within the country. I do appreciate your feedback. And I will also post some more articles with a different light on the country. I hope you'll continue to read.

  2. Hi. Long time listener, first time caller. I love your show! Now tell us about the time you went to the Philippines to visit your sister.

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