– There are people selling random tourist products everywhere… And my favorite, by far, one that I have serious regret over not buying is a snow globe of the Taj Mahal. I quite seriously doubt that it has ever snowed at the Taj (yet to be googled)… Admittedly it was about 46 degrees when we were there so anything other than humans melting into the Taj is all I could really envisage.
– Indians love reclining chairs… This might seem like a strange observation but they have reclining chairs on their buses, trains and even in their cinemas.
– I have finally come to understand the beauty of sweat… This might sound odd but when you exercise in sport it doesn’t really cool you down until you stop exercising. But, in India, where I spend most of my time sweating, every time you stop walking around or there’s a breeze you actually get to feel just a tiny bit cooler and the day becomes slightly more bearable.
– Cows. I know I’ve mentioned cows before but seriously. They are everywhere. When traveling by bus we will often end up coming to a grinding halt because a cow will have walked into the middle of the road. I have also seen them walking into shops, lying outside shops or in the middle of the road, just generally everywhere. Maddy our guide said that most families in villages will keep their own cow for milk however often they are so poor that when the cow gets old and stops producing milk they will just send them out into the community where people will randomly feed them as that helps generate good karma.
– I have decided you can judge the general height of a nation based on how low things are hung. Based on this I would say that Indians are not in generally tall. As a very average heighted kiwi female I find myself here quite regularly ducking under doorways and walking into things like lights. I am also basing this on the fact that I can often see above crowds in train stations etc without standing on tip toes.
– In my last post I included a photo of a village child wearing eyeliner and I thought I would explain it. In India Hindus are very skeptical of the “evil eye”. This is something that can be put on them if someone is envious of something of theirs eg their child if it is beautiful, their shop if it is successful etc. The eyeliner therefore is designed to make their child ugly so that no one will put an evil eye on the child. On shops they will put a demon face so that people will think the shop is ugly and therefore not be jealous of it.
– While many of you may have thought that I would really struggle with food in India I am basically a local when compared to the German guy on my tour. I noticed he didn’t really order curries instead he orders pasta carbonara, Chinese egg fried noodles etc, so I asked him about it this morning. He then told me he hates Indian food and he would rather eat plain rice than have a curry. India really does seem like a strange location for him.
– Speed of travel – Traveling in India is very slow business. For example when we had to travel 42km from the village to Jaipur is took us nearly 2 hours (without stopping). This is because the quality of the roads is very poor and often when you are in cities or towns traffic is so bad that it moves very slowly. Buses therefore often drive on the wrong side of the road if the quality is better… This makes for some terrifying near collisions from a westerners perspective (Indians don’t seem phase). Also trains aren’t particularly fast… However I don’t really know why that is.
– Tours. Tours involve a lot of sitting around and traveling. I have therefore been smashing through some podcasts and books. Any recommendations would be welcome.
– Finally here is Christie Doolin everybody. Christiana you better be grateful, it took 15 minutes and 18% of my battery for this photo to upload.