So what is India?

On 22 January 2014 by From elephants to kangaroos

After a little bit less than one month in India, here is my vision of the country, even if I didn’t go to so many places coz it’s a huge country.

India is fascinating and disconcerting, at the same time, magic and horrible, enthralling and exhausting. India is not a country like the others, here you can feel a special atmosphere that you can’t understand before you live it.

imageIndia is a mix of landscapes. You can be at one moment in a really crowded and noisy city and then arrived in a really quiet and peaceful mosque. From the mountains to the really green forests. From desert to rice plantation. All of this with trains travels that you can’t forget!

India, it’s the colors. Those of the ladies clothes is the streets, of the palaces everywhere, the blue of Jodhpur, the pink of Jaipur, the red forts, the yellow of the dunes in the desert, the green of the campaigns.

imageIndia, it’s the Indian women. Sorry misters but you have to admit that except some of them (especially the oldest), our looks are automatically attracted by those sublime women with long black hair, black make up eyes, a small piercing on the left side of their nose and this point between their eyes. But mostly their colorful clothes with lots of golden details, all of this with noisy bracelets on their hands.

imageIndia of course it’s also the Indian food. Careful to the spices, your mouth is gonna be on fire! But you discover excellent meals like thali or paneer or pakora or dal or lassi (between lots of excellent other stuff!). The food is really great, most of the time vegetarian but you don’t really need meat coz the meals are so tasty without it! And small thing, we hear so many people saying that they have been sick in India because of the food that I wanted to tell you, NO stomach pain for me at all and I’ve eaten in the streets and even drank water in good restaurants!!! Don’t be afraid and just follow a simple rule: eat in the crowded places, it means that the food is good and fresh!

India, it’s also a big cultural choc. Here, people are not polite, it’s the law of the strongest in the streets or offices, it’s local people who split in the streets, who burp and make a lot of noise, the animals live in the streets in the middle of you and the trashes, it’s people who try to cheat on you, some others who look at you like if you are something disgusting.

imageIndia it’s the Taj Mahal. Its greatness, its splendor, the feeling that you have when you look at it the 1st time. A place that worth the trip itself in this country.

To resume, India for me, it’s the new year in Delhi, the 1st time I saw this amazing Taj in Agra, the long walk on the ghats in Varanasi, the unexpected hug to the elephant in Jaipur in a small street, the sunset on the City Palace in Udaipur from the other side of the lake, the dozens of pictures I’ve taken of the welcoming habitants in Jodhpur, the night in the dunes with an almost full moon during the camel safari in Jasailmer.

imageFinally, it’s great people I’ve met during different days with Wok, Johan, Gra, Monica, Fabio, Jessica, Marek, John, Dan et John, but also all the other people like Daniel, Reinart, Raymond, Carl, Gordon, Anne et Didier, Marie, Derek and so much more from all over the world with who I shared a meal, a discussion in a ticket office, a travel by bus or train, a wait at the embassy or some minutes of a visit. There are almost 40 people that I can remember (not always their names I’m sorry) with who I shared a nice moment, thanks to all of you for making this journey in India something different! An of course, I also met a lot of local people in the guesthouses, shops, the drivers, in the streets and others. Globally, they are really nice an welcoming people!

India, you love it or you hate it. It attracts you or rejects you. But whatever happens, you can’t stay indifferent. You’re happy to visit this country, such as happy to leave it. For my part, India got me and despite some bad habits and some cultural chic that I have to accept, it’s a country that I will probably go back to to discover other regions like Kerala, Cashmere or Darjeeling. But I don’t know if I will come back as a woman alone. The women have here a special place and sometimes, it’s better to be with someone in the streets especially at night when local women stay at home and so men look at you weirdly. I didn’t have any trouble there being by myself, I never felt In danger or harassed. But just a feeling for the next time.

Little advice If you do a world tour: I think it’s not a good idea to start or finish by this country. I think it’s too intense and you will need to be “acclimated” to the journey before and some rest after :) but believe me, you’ll love to explore India…

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