5 THINGS YOU LEARN ABOUT INDIA WITHIN 5 MINUTES

Imagine, you have never been to India before. You are a foreigner, possibly European/American/Australian. You have just landed at one of the airports in India. You are quite tired after a lengthy journey, but excited and ready for a holiday or a business trip. After walking quite a long distance you get stuck in a queue to passport control counter. You feel like half of the world wants to enter India today and everybody chose the same port of entry like you. Anyways, after a while you get the stamp in your passport. Then you collect your luggage, go to the toilet and start noticing how big, nice, clean, quiet and modern is the airport you are in.

You probably landed in New Delhi/Mumbai/Chennai/Kolkata/Kochi/Bengaluru/Hyderabad (even if you landed somewhere else in India, your perception might be similar). All terminals are new or undergoing extensive renovations. They are spacious, very modern and have all necessary facilities. Don’t be surprised to see in every bathroom a bathroom attendant. If you dream about empty bathroom where you can do peacefully number 2 (number 1 is pee :P) while nobody listens- forget it and just do what you have to without making a huge noise 😛

Airports in India are very safe. You cannot enter any airport unless you show your flight ticket and passport. There are armed forces (police or army) standing at every door and checking each passenger. That’s why Indian airports are calm and quiet (undercrowded in comparison to the outside world). But let’s go back to the main topic.

You have stamp in your passport,your luggage, you visited toilet and you are ready to leave the airport. Your transfer is either already booked or you have to find one. If your taxi/bus is prebooked then life is easy 🙂 If not, then life becomes exciting 🙂 Now, let’s imagine you have already sorted it out.

Airport door opens and you:

  • try to find your name among other hundreds of names written on a piece of paper
  • try to politely decline other hundreds of offers for a taxi
  • try to breathe because it is so hot or humid that you are not able to think correctly

Finally, you are in the taxi! 🙂 You can relax now….. No, you cannot! It’s too much happening around.

  ———————-

5 things you learn about India within 5 minutes after leaving the airport.

  ———————-

PEOPLE

Everywhere you look, there are people- to the left, to the right, in the front, at the back, on the street, on the road, under the bridge, on the grass, at the traffic lights-sitting, standing, driving, walking, laying down, sleeping, hanging (from vehicles), talking, relaxing, working etc . The amount of people you see on the way to your hotel/hostel/house is the amount of people you see in your country within a month 🙂 Unless you attended recently football match, concert or a massive political protest (let’s not forget about Christmas shopping and sales :P). So, you have just learnt there are a lot of people in India. You have realised wikipedia doesn’t lie and you just saw a tiny fraction of 1.2 billion of Indian citizens.

NO RACISM ON THE ROAD

Within minutes you notice India is a very tolerant country with no racism on the road. All road users are treated in the same way regardless of what/who they are- cars, buses, trucks, auto rickshaws, tractors, bicycles, motorbikes, cows, camels, elephants, horses, sellers, any other people. I like it- we all are equal! 🙂

USE OF HORNS

As I wrote before, you were planning to relax in taxi, but you cannot. Why? It’s loud out there! Indians honk like crazy. They don’t do it only when it’s really necessary. They honk as it’s a necessary part of driving. Moreover, they do it before any action e.g. before changing a lane (what lane! before shifting to some other road space :P) just to inform- I’m going there, move! Or this is my line, don’t come here! It’s a form of communication 🙂 Indian trucks often have sign at the back written: blow horn/horn please. It means truck drivers invite other drivers to honk when they are about to pass them, just to indicate the move. How… not smart 😛  So, be prepared for noise pollution 🙂

horn-ok-please

POVERTY

Unfortunately, although India is a powerful country with thousands of multimillioners and some of the richest people in the world the first striking thing for a foreigner is to see a small, barefoot child walking around in his slightly torn clothes. This picture is often seen as soon as he leaves airport. Poverty is so visible that sometimes it overshadows other beautiful aspects of India. This is a major, social problem for this beautiful country that cannot be solved only by money. That’s why it is important to show tourists other side of India- new, modern, educated society full of professionals with high aspirations.

GE DIGITAL CAMERA

AN ORGANISED COLORFUL CHAOS

After 5 minutes in your taxi your first shock and a look of astonishment disappears. You realise this country runs in an organised colourful chaos. Although many things might look strange and crazy for us foreigners, that is how India rolls 🙂 It’s loud, vivid, vibrant, friendly, diverse, beautiful, colourful place- incredible India!

the-incredible-india-702x336

Btw: by the time you reach your hotel you are probably friends with your taxi driver 🙂

Cheers!

Marlena

Images: Horn OK PleaseINDIA poster

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Life Abroad in Mixed Marriage / Interracial Family- the fabulous fusion of cultures, races, religions and many more-travel, food & parenting :)

25 thoughts on “5 THINGS YOU LEARN ABOUT INDIA WITHIN 5 MINUTES

  1. Hi! I think I can relate to this post, as I experienced all of these things…except the roads when I first arrived in India. Somehow I landed at 3am and the roads were mysteriously empty at that time of night. Imagine my surprise the next day when the country was transformed into a whole new world for me. Maybe it was better that I arrived so early in the morning, so I could ease my way into the wonderful chaos India is.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think it’s really great idea to land in India by night 😉 because you can first watch the amazing Indian chaos through the window, digest it and as you wrote- it could ease your way into the Indian world 🙂

      Like

  2. I happen to be from India and feel genuinely pleased to see someone speak of my country and tell it like it is. A common problem many tourists face (not in the cities) is the staring. Most tourists I’ve interacted with have mentioned it to me. The stares are harmless and out of curiosity (to see someone from another land) rather than anything else but it makes people uncomfortable. Just wanted to know, did you face anything of the sort?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi 🙂
      Thanks a lot for your comment 🙂
      Yes, staring is quite a common thing in India. I didn’t mention this in my post, as it wasn’t one of the first 5 things I’ve learnt, but definitely one of the first 10 things 😛
      I’ve been many times in India and I’m so used to being stared at all the time- I don’t even notice that 🙂
      As you wrote, the stares are completely harmless and out of curiosity. The biggest stares I got when I left parlour, ready for a big fat Indian wedding, wearing beautiful lengha- I think people believed I’m a part of some shooting 😛
      Moreover, people in India don’t stare only at foreigners. It’s just a common harmless habit. Whatever happens interesting on the road/in public- everyone runs and wants to see what’s going on 😛
      India is just cool 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Pia!
      Thank you sooo much! I’m quite new to this blogging world and still have not too much clue about blogging, so your nomination is really uplifting 🙂 I will definitely take part in it and write a post in a couple of days 🙂 Wow, that’s so nice of You! It means a lot to me. Thanks a lot one more time 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Dahlia 🙂
      Thanks a lot! I’ve been to India for the first time many years ago, so this is what I remember from that time. Nowadays, I sleep in any car/taxi in India regardless of what is happening around 😛

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Wow! Beautiful article! Loved the ”organised colourful chaos” ! Awesome view over such an amazing interesting country and culture. It’s been on my travel list for some time now and articles like these move it a bit higher up haha. Greatly appreciated!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Dacian 🙂
      Thanks a lot for you kind words and for stopping by! I do recommend you to visit India- not once, because you won’t be able to feel it in a one go, but several times 🙂 I know it’s easy to write, but if you have a change- go there!
      Good luck with your travels 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Good post! I agree, there are people everywhere! Between the time you see a motive and you lift your camera to take it, you have 65 people march through your picture.

    India is a country of extremes, but it is gorgeous. One of the nicest countries I have been to.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Was really great to read this post. I particularly like the part where you say that when you get into the taxi, you cannot relax because so much is happening around…This is really true, India is such a busy and happening place, you just can’t afford to relax if you want to feel the nation. Thanks for sharing!! Have a great day.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi! Thanks a lot 🙂

      I remember my first ever few hours in India over 7 years ago. My husband’s family picked us up from airport. It was one of the craziest drive in my life 😛 I thought I will die soon- the way his cousin was driving, trying to overtake anyone and anything on the road 😛 On top of that I’ve experienced everything else I wrote about in this post. Now, I feel in India like in my homeland 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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