This is not going to be an ordinary post, more of collection of thoughts and rambles on India, and what we are left with after three weeks of adventure. To quote our waiter in Chit Chat restaurant in Jaipur, who managed to merge jamaican and indian culture in a way I will probably never see again, “No woman no cry, no chapati no chai!”. Chapati is one of the delicious breadtypes that indians have with pretty much every meal. Chai became our favourite drink and it’s basically tea, milk and sugar. By the way, the food in india is incredible and is worth the visit on it’s own! Among our favourite dishes were butter chicken, aloo(potato) masala, dosa masala (indian breakfast) and the wide variety of chapatis and naan breads that I will sorely miss.
Rickshaw in Jaipur with built in boomblaster. Got us moving our too white bodies to the rythm of indian Bollywood music which after some time here wasn’t that bad. We have even brought with us some cd’s for our planned roadtrip in Australia 🙂
Being asked up front if Ricky Martin is really gay, maybe the last question I expected to get in India…
To us most indian men seemed gay. This had nothing to do with how they dressed or looked, but simply how they acted. To explain this before the male population of India hunts us down it’s common to show affection between men in India. This includes holding hands, caressing, singing songs to eachother while staring deep into the other persons eyes, walking along the beach in the sunset, and I could go on… My field of study has nothing to do with the study of human nature, but my hypothesis is that indian men and women don’t mix enough. This leads to a wanting of intimacy leading to a wild outburst of what we see as a loud, proud and definently happening gay scene. My point is that for indians it’s therefore hard to determine the sexuality of everybodys favourite latin popstar, Mr. Ricky Martin. I don’t really blame them..
I have on occasion said that both my sisters were married when they are in reality not, as well as posing as married with Eli one time. This simply in order to stop the river of questions or blank stares as most indians have no grasp of the single or relationship situation. But as I’ve read and understood through conversation, this is changing. But among older people like Santosh the sexist captain I tried for a while, untill I muttered married…and he finally understood. Not that the word married stalled him from breaking into the girls bedroom, but Santosh was a bit slow..
The indians are a persistant people. An example of that is the people selling chai(tea with sugar and milk) on the train. They go back and forth through the train yelling “Chaiya! Chaiya!”, to get the attention of the customers. Now I spoke with an indian who said that they are not on comission and only get a fixed salary. You would therefore assume, as all government employees, that they would take certain freedoms like, say sleep or just a single break! But no… These guys went walking up and down the trainset for the total 12 hours the ride lasted and not to mention that 7 of those were in the middle of the night while all the potential customers were asleep. Now that’s the spirit! Also resulting in me never getting much sleep, since the indian beds are tiny and my legs stuck out right where the chai-guys were strutting their stuff.
India seems to be in a never ending state of complete degradation. It’s like the country froze up in the 80’s, leaving its inhabitants to fix stuff on a regular basis. If you have seen the movie Ember you’ll know what I’m talking about. Water shortages, power surges and outages gets to be a normal part of your everyday life. Although India is a very advanced country with a self developed space program, computer engineers in world class and a economy that can rival most of the western countries something is just not right. India is trying to leap ahead to the 21st century from a foundation lacking essentials like water, electricity, sewage and recycling. It’s very strange to behold a country so full of contrasts. Sportscars sold in Mumbai on one side of the street, slum on the other. High tech computer company buildings with sewage systems older than my grandma. India is a country full of contrasts for good and for bad. Im just rambling now, but travelling in India got me really interested in the countries story and it’s rise to independence as well as what has transformed India into what it is today, the worlds biggest democracy with a market driven economy.
In the three weeks that we have spent in India we’ve seen many of the sights, cities and got a feel for what India can offer. Three weeks is just enough time to scratch the surface and I most definently want to go back one day to stay longer and get a real feel for India and it’s culture and people. So I can without a doubt recommend India to fellow travellers, but as I said earlier, start with the south before you take on the north. It worked wonders for us 🙂
Thailand here we come!