India is one of the most overwhelming countries in the world, especially for Indian-rookies. And even for well-experienced travelers, who have previously been to a few other Asian countries on trips, India is something different. The vibrant colors, the extremely loud and noisy honking, the smell of recently slaughtered animals in markets, combined with the intense perfumes of locally produced incense sticks…..India has it all. These elements, in combination with extreme weather conditions, the sad sight of poor families living on the streets, and hundreds of stray dogs running around could create an overwhelming feeling for any individual. If that happens, the simple antidote is to leave the country as soon as possible. Rush to the airport, get seated after your check in, buckle up and this feeling slowly disappears. However, there is a much better option which also works well.
You would be very lucky if you were to have a flashy shopping mall around, when this overwhelming feeling starts to kick in! My advice then, is to enter the mall and simply walk around. At some point, you would have crossed the ‘H&M’ sign more than three times. Nine out of ten people will start to feel better, the overwhelming feeling will probably settle down and it would be safe again for you to venture outside. In the rare case that this does not work for you, there is always the possibility to go to the foodcourt and look for a Mc. Donald’s or Burger King. Sipping a vanilla milkshake and eating French fries will help to ease this feeling. Wait for the calories to kick in and slowly walk to the nearest exit of the mall. These solutions are rock-solid and scientifically proven. It simply works. But what should you do if you are in a small local village in the countryside, with the nearest Café Coffee Day hours away from you? You only have one option left to survive: be calm, carry on & enjoy the Indian hospitality!
Traveling through the Indian Subcontinent is and will always be an unforgettable experience. The sounds, smells and colors in India are one of a kind. There is no Asian country that will might leave you with such a positive memory. However, the vibrant colors, astonishing perfumes and the energizing sounds are nowhere without the Indian people. With a population of approximately 1.3 Billion, you will always find Indians if you travel across the subcontinent. In the desserts, in thick woods, in the mountains and even in very remote areas, people are everywhere. And the people in India are special. Yes, it’s easy to bring to light induvial stories about annoying Indian people. Firstly, in my opinion Indian people are often very suspicious, they don’t trust very easily. And besides the very disturbing habit of the IST, the very famous ‘Indian Stretchable Time’, they are also very thoughtless. They don’t listen very often and it means that you need to repeat your question or request multiple times. Finally, you could also say that they sometimes create a big mess within the country: the traffic chaotic and cities are often very polluted or dirty. However, this is not their habit when they travel abroad. But above all this, Indian people are very kind! As I stated earlier, the Indian population is the cherry on the pie in this magnificent country; most of them are very loving people. They smile a lot and look happy, even if their living-conditions are unfavorable. From the security officer at the entrance of the mall to the CEO of a self-built company, almost every one seem filled with pride. Vegetable vendors dress up their stalls as if they are competing in a beauty contest. All the vegetables are placed in straight lines, with matching colors and textures. Stalls are a photographer’s dream, especially when they are operated by women in colorful sari’s. And Indians with pride are everywhere. Some auto rickshaw drivers treat their 3-wheelers with a lot of respect and care for them. In the city of Pune you can see numerous pimped up auto rickshaws, with flashy chairs, a bullbar and extra lighting. The same short ride would cost you Rs 45 (30 eurocent), but the gentle manner of the driver could turn your bleak mode into happiness with his smile and delightful approach. Although not everyone speaks (good) English, a lot of people want to talk to you. In comparison with other Asian countries, ‘connecting’ with people is easy in India. If you’re on the market, in a supermarket, waiting for a doctor’s appointment or in the cinema before the start of the National Anthem….people like small talk! And forget the horror-stories about rip-offs, careless drivers, dishonest souvenir sellers, inflexible government employees and other ruthless behavior. Occasionally might be some challenging moments when you deal with people, but for the most, your encounters will be very pleasant.