Incredible Indians

2 Jul

Honestly, when we were re-introduced to the hot, dusty and busy India after our mountain break in the Himalayas, we went into hibernation.

Because once out of Kaza, it hit us that the rest of the country was slowly cooking its inhabitants. The rain had yet to come and temperatures had reached the high forties. It was simply too hot and humid to do anything. And that, my friends, was our excuse for barely leaving our hotel room in Delhi the last few days in India.

Because India is tiring. And we were tired.

After two and half months in India we needed a break from being tourists. And besides, it didn't retrieve our lost tourist spirits that we were staying next to New Delhi railway station. In the competition between wandering out into humidity that left us wet with sweat in alleys smelling of perfume de peepee, fluffy hotel room pillows and our new god, The AirCondition, won. And, we had seen Delhi before, and truthfully, it really was too hot.

So, how was India?

It would be most obvious to tell you about the crazy and wacky, the people curled up on the pavements, how the social mobility ladder is still far out of reach for the many, and how the caste system seems to be hiding in every nook and corner.

But, for every elbow in the ribs from a local queue jumper, there were people who went out of their way to help us. Like the girl who missed her bus to help us figure out ours, the couple who ended up giving us a 20 hour lift, the ones who came with us to ensure we got Indian prices for the souvenirs, and the man who left a nice and warm cafe to walk in the sleet to help us find our hotel. And for every holy cow munching on plastic, every aggressive tout and roadside littered with trash, there were bright saris and turbans, butter chicken and tandoori nan and Indians who were warm and welcoming.

Loved it or hated it?

Before we left for India, we were repeatedly told by other travellers that the country was a matter of black or white. “You either love it or hate it”, they said, “there is no in-between”.

In a way, they were right. India was all the extremes. The highs and the lows often happened juxtaposed. But in the end, there were more good people than bad people, more superb experiences than horrific, and more wacky wonderful memories than anything else.

And above all, India was never boring.



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3 Responses to “Incredible Indians”

  1. Elisabeth 02. Jul, 2013 at 20:20 #

    je garde un excellent souvenir de mes accompagnements de voyages en Inde deux fois avec la partie Nepal qui était très belle!
    Patou garde aussi un très bon souvenir de l’Inde et du Nepal
    Gros bisous et bon voyage

    • Kari 05. Jul, 2013 at 14:25 #

      Oh la la, merci Betty! (And that is still largely the extent of my French, I’m afraid ;-)) India was truly an experience – as expected, all the way up there with Thailand as the highlights of our travels!

  2. Stig 14. Jul, 2013 at 04:01 #

    ‘Juxtaposed’…. new one – had to look it up 🙂

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