Thursday, August 01, 2013

Observations on India So Far

A monkey-cow traffic jam. This was out on a country road,
to be fair, not in the city.
One thing I've learned so far while I've been in India that I didn't fully realize before: you will find everything on the road here. EVERYTHING. Cars. Trucks. Bicycles. Bicycle rickshaws. Autorickshaws. Tuktuks (a slightly larger autorickshaw with a meter, like a taxi). Actual taxis. Pedestrians. Cows. Goats. Dogs. Camels. Monkeys. (See photo.) Even, when we were driving back from Galta Ji (the monkey temple), a monitor lizard. (I'll post a photo of that later.) And somehow, all of these people and vehicles and animals weave in and out of traffic and pass through one another's space with mere inches to spare without anybody getting hit or freaking out.

Also, lane lines are mere suggestions, like in Mexico, and honking the horn is polite and expected road etiquette, not a sign of impending road rage. That one was hard to get used to. (I spent at least the first few days thinking OHMYGOD EVERYBODY IS HONKING AND ANGRY THIS IS VERY VERY BAD.) They are not angry. In fact, most trucks have "Honk Please" painted on the back.

Something I have learned about myself so far while in India: I really dislike haggling over prices, and being constantly pestered to buy stuff. Okay, so I knew that about myself, but I have had the near-daily opportunity to refresh that knowledge.

Over the past 6 days I have sweated more than I ever thought possible.

Delhi is an awe-inspiring city. Agra is kind of an unimpressive city (and our hotel had bugs in the bathroom, because basically it was a very buggy locale) but its monuments--the Taj Mahal, the Old Fort, Fatehpur Sikri--are incredible. Jaipur was a gem and may have been my favorite overall experience so far. Last night we arrived back in Delhi after our 3 days or so exploring the Golden Triangle, and today was a museum day. Tomorrow is our last full day in Delhi before flying to Khajuraho.

And now I need to conclude this digital postcard and write a few actual postcards...


tanita♥davis said...

Monkeys, cows. The odd tourist...

Yes, I HATE haggling, and it's hard for me to know what's fair, or to feel what is fair, and yet, it's an integral part of some people's selling experience, and if you don't haggle, it's like you don't... care or something.

I dunno. I usually make someone else do it.

aquafortis said...

I also forgot to mention that India has the CUTEST CHIPMUNKS. Or squirrels, or whatever they are. Little stripey guys.

Yes, I usually try to make Rob do the haggling, but we're both pretty uncomfortable with it.

Another big difference: you tip EVERYBODY here. I feel like I'm constantly flinging money about.