First Observations About India



  • There are no addresses. Everything is landmarked based. If you want to get to the Shisa Cafe, you say Westin, Koreagon Park. If I want to get to work, I say behind IBM.
  • The rule to driving here is that there are no rules. Or lanes or traffic lights for that matter.
  • On that note, pedestrians are not respected. In New York, I always bank on the fact that I think the drivers don’t want to hit me and go to jail, more than they want to get somewhere fast. I have a sneaking suspicion, that’s not the case here. Even when I’m on the sidewalk, a motorbike will hop up onto the path to get around traffic and come barreling at me. It’s a game of chicken and I lose every time.
  • There are a lot of international stores and risque clothing like bra tops and miniskirts and short shorts, but I’ve yet to see indian women wearing them. Is there some sort of secret risque clothing gatherings club that I’m not aware of?
  • The little girls here wear the most beautiful princess-looking dresses on a daily basis. I was forced to wear real clothes when I was younger and I might be bitter about it. Give me my tiara dammit. (jk I was a feisty little tot that dressed myself and drove my mom nuts because I never matched and mixed seasons).
  • The food ranges from spicy to spicier to spiciest and I’m not mad at it. My stomach might beg to differ.
  • Toilet paper is not a given here. Pack your own or embrace the bidets. The choice is yours.
  • And if you do find and use toilet paper, you’re not supposed to flush it.
  • The head wobble. An ever constant source of confusion and giggles.
  • I’m not sure waiting in lines is a thing here. Every time I’m cueing, someone cuts in front of me with no shame. I haven’t figured out if it’s a respect your elders thing yet or what but they seem surprised if I say “excuse me, I was waiting in line.” Tbd.
  • There are metal detectors and security everywhere. To get into malls and clubs and hotels and stores. You also have to check all shopping bags at the front of the store and they zip tie your purse or backpack shut.
  • I love the mosque’s call to prayer on Sunday nights. We can hear it from our rooftop.
  • Every shop has roughly 5 attendees to every 1 shopper.
  • So far I have seen hundreds of street dogs and only 3 pet dogs.
  • Coffee is not a thing here. I’m not crying, that’s just sweat coming from my eyes.
  • And I like the chai!! I have tried and hated chai many times in the states, but it was nothing like the chai here.
  • There’s a lot of half constructed buildings. They’re beautiful and haunting, but a sad reminder of unstable markets and corruption.
  • Roti and Medu and Paratha and Samosas and Dosas and Kulcha and Biryani. I’ll have to do a separate post on the food. Or many!

xo Alina