Being here is a mix of excitement and annoyance. I was delighted when I saw that most Indians are friendly but then I figured not everyone here can be that nice and interested in your story without some ulterior motive. Unfortunately I learned how deceiving Indians can be with their big smiles and sweet talk… Luckily with no major consequences. Read about that in my next post.
You know those Saturday afternoons in Zagreb, when a bunch of cars are honking because of the wedding? Well, in India, there appears to be about 200 weddings per hour. The noise is deafening, everyone who has a motor vehicle wants to get somewhere before a fellow driver so they all use their horns at the same time which loses its purpose and only leads to an incredible noise pollution. While I’m on the note of crazy drivers, let me tell you how the traffic here is… It’s actually organized pretty well, not that many people break the rules and I must say they all are quite responsible drivers. Not. I really can’t describe how horrible the traffic is, I don’t even know where to start. My guys and I thought that Moscow had bad drivers and no roadside manners but after seeing this, I would be more than happy to cross the road at Smolenskaya boulevard back there.
Here in Delhi, there are tracks marked on the road and there is a couple of streetlights around the city (not that many considering how big it is) but they don’t serve any purpose, and I mean it, they have no purpose at all. I did read about how traffic is bad here but you don’t believe something like that until you see a two track road that has three cars, two rickshaws and a motorbike right next to each other and there’s also a woman with a 3 year old child and a beggar trying to pass by these. No matter how horrible it sounds (and looks), this kind of driving obviously works somehow, in the end, everyone gets to their destination and no one is killed in the process…
Crossing a road as a pedestrian is quite a feat as well, it took me some two or three minutes to cross a road with more than two tracks since green light for pedestrians and red light for drives doesn’t mean a thing to any, you just have to start your way across, pay attention to the moving vehicles, pray to God and hope you reach the other side alive.
First Indian meal
Continuing my thoughts on my first day I should mention that I did try some roadside vendor’s food (don’t know what it’s called) which looked quite appetizing but ended up being a piece of dough with chick beans (or was it cottage cheese) soaked in a spicy water (can’t call it a sauce since it tastes exactly like water with some chilli added to it). I just hope this one won’t cause me any trouble in the next few days. But I also drank rakija in the hotel with some guys that I met so I think I’ll be fine. Here’s a photo of my first real meal since I didn’t take a photo of the one in the street.
The noise, oh, the noise
Yeah, one would think that car horns during the day are irritating. One would be wrong as there are dogs’ a cappella practices during the night. Unfortunately, even though I love a cappella singing, these animals are so unbelievably annoying when you’re trying to go to sleep, especially if you’re experiencing a jet lag. That’s how I ended up starting this post. Blocking the noise should be as easy as getting some earplugs but then I won’t be able to hear my alarm in the morning so I can’t risk it, I’ll rather be a bit tired tomorrow.
People I’ve met until now
The first person who approached me was a nice Indian fellow on the plane who was friendly and chatty so we ended up conversing during our Moscow to Delhi flight. Then I met three fun girls from Austria who didn’t speak English that well but we still managed to have a conversation for a couple of hours. Tonight I met two Argentinian guys whose India trip is nearing the end so they had more experience than me and were willing to share it, along with the hotel and restaurant recommendations. And last but definitely not least, is my future travel partner, Davor from Bosnia. We decided we’ll join forces and spend ten or so days together since we have a similar itinerary. So I’m missing my 6.15 AM train ride tomorrow and am switching it either for a later train or for a bus because Davor doesn’t have a train ticket confirmed and I have some unfinished business to sort out in the morning.
Here’s a photo for my guys from college…
I do like it, it was different from what I’ve expected, people are a lot sneakier here and they all want your money (which is understandable because of the poverty) but I do kinda like it. It is a culture shock and I did come here knowing it will be but what I didn’t know was how much of a difference there can be between two people who are two meter one from another, one wants to cheat you and get your money and the other one is a friendly being who wishes to spend time with you and is genuinely interested in what you have to say.
Well, that’s it for now, I’ll be back with another post (hopefully) soon. If you have any comments, please leave them below.