Personal Impressions

The "Personal Impressions" section is a collection of thoughts and personal experiences.


"India is a scum-hole. If you hated Egypt, you'll hate India," a friend warned before our arrival. "India is a love-hate relationship," another more moderately assessed. "It's immersion in humanity," someone more positively put.

India is an immense country, each of the 25 states having a distinct language and culture, and our short 14-day provided such a tiny glimpse of a limited section that we departed India without the sense of having seen it. Yet the impressions India made on us are deep and distinct. To us, India was far less about seeing the sites promoted by guidebooks and the tourism board, and more about experiencing the overpopulated filth and commotion deeply seeded in freedom, culture, and religion that is aptly termed "humanity".

Where's the Toilet?

This question often has no definite answer. There is no toilet. Locals casually urinate and defecate beside a building, in a field, on the train tracks, on the city sidewalk, and absolutely everywhere else. In fact, many concrete sidewalks are too polluted with human waste to walk on. This answers the next question: why do the people risk their lives walking in the roadside traffic?

Life is a Play

We met a woman from Geneva who traveled to India multiple times. "In India, life is a play. If you're too serious, you can't participate." It's true. Indifference is the key. Vendors recognize want. The more you want, the higher the price. With indifference, negotiation and communication can begin. Seriousness can only lead to frustration and a poor Indian experience.

With these wise words, the woman from Geneva next admitted, "When I was younger, I could watch the play and interact freely. I lost my patience. I can no longer participate in their play."

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