Traveling in India… India, a country which fascinates, a country which intrigues, a country which attracts, a country which is also repugnant… But above all a country which leaves no one indifferent. I had been told before going there “ India, you love it or you hate it ”. I can’t say I loved it, but I can’t say I hated it either. Let’s say it was… special! It was Indian! I certainly don’t consider myself an expert on India, I haven’t been everywhere (far from it!) and I only spent a few weeks there. And I think that for a country like this, you need at leastthree months to get to know it a little, six months to get to know the country well. But I will give some information following my experience there for those who wish to travel to India. So you will know what to expect!
Be prepared to travel to india
I start with this point because obviously some travelers are not ready. Forget all your expectations of India if you’ve never been there: Bollywood, curry, Ayurvedic massages, Hinduism… Many arrive in New Delhi and are caught in the face of the reality on the ground: poverty, pollution , incessant noise, corpses on the ground, stray dogs, cows in the street…
Backwaters, Kerala. Here it is calm
Yes, I met a lot of travelers (mainly French) who hated the city, even left shocked. The French Embassy in India is one of the very few to have a psychological cell… Yes, India is shocking, and people can’t get over it! I repeat, but some travelers take a slap when arriving in Delhi and do not recover… I arrived directly in Delhi but I had read about the city, so I was prepared. Be you too!
I honestly didn’t know what to expect when arriving in India regarding the locals. I had heard everything and its opposite, so it was total blur for me when I arrived. It turned out they were friendly. Quite discreet but open to discussion, and with good English. In New Delhi, I spent a few days with several Indians, and we had a blast! They loved it when I made them listen to a Panjabi MC sound! “ Wow do you know!? It was a hit here in India! “.
It was much easier to interact with them in the south of the country. Indeed in the north, especially in New Delhi , there are cars everywhere, people, noise, pollution… Chaos, serious, and some travelers are not prepared! To know when you want to travel to India, the south is much more relaxed. Fewer people, fewer solicitations and scams , less traffic… You can really chat with them. Most of those I spoke to had dreams of being an entrepreneur or in sports, especially cricket (it’s the most popular sport in India!). As open to discussion as they are, I haven’t seen much male-female interaction in India. Since we’re talking about it…
One thing that struck me when I arrived in New Delhi: the ratio of men to women. The women are there, but not really visible. You see a lot more men on the street. Wherever I go, I chat with the locals (men, women, young, old, etc.). To know a country, you must above all know its inhabitants: know how they are, how they think, their desires, etc… And the more I speak with people, the more I identify the mentality / way of thinking of the locals. And to travel well in India, you have to talk to its inhabitants! New Delhi is the first city visited where I had no interaction with locals. Nothing. No. No! That’s crazy!!!
At the entrance to the Jaipur metro, I met a group of Indian women. Probably from the countryside, they were terrified of taking the escalator and didn’t know what to do. I helped them by showing them how to do it, but they weren’t comfortable interacting with me (I’m a man). After a few moments, they relaxed and thanked me.
If there are fewer women than men, there is a reason. When a pregnant woman learns that she is expecting a girl (and not a boy), the man sometimes asks his wife to have an abortion. Why? The little girl is going to grow up, one day she’s going to get married, and it’s up to the father to pay for everything for the wedding. In addition to paying for everything, he then gives his daughter to the groom… And you may know that Indian marriages are different from ours. We’re talking about several hundred guests, a party that lasts several days, plenty of food… It’s a huge expense for the father who prefers to spare himself that. And anticipate by asking his wife to have an abortion.