Indian stories. 04. Pros and cons

In this post, I will explain the pros and cons of traveling to India. This is my personal experience. Everybody has different views on the travel format, on what is normal or not. Take it into account.

Let’s start with good things and good events.

1. Architecture and cultural heritage.

It is the most important part of my trip to India. The country has so many places of historical value — it is impossible to check them all in one go. Multiple trips are required. Better in low season and with someone to share the emotions and effort. Especially if it is a local friend or a fiancee.

Most places that I checked were the heritage of the Moghul Empire. Despite being an Islamic state, it left the style of Central Asia — the domes of tombs remind me of the Prince of Persia video game franchise.

2. The size of the country.

You can go to Delhi, Mumbai, Goa, Assam, etc. It is an extensive and diverse country with many ethnicities and religions. Locals look differently depending on the state they live in.

3. Food.

I was poisoned on my last day. Probably at the airport. But my stomach was hurt even earlier — when I tried some spicy stuff in the Muslim Bazar district near Jama Masjid. For spice geeks — it is heaven. All kinds of spices, all kinds of spicy flavors.

4. Traveling with a local person.

In my previous posts, I told about the driver I was traveling with, Happy. Next, I was accompanied by my friend Soumo. It was fun to check the insight on the local life, prices, food, sites, etc. One of the most memorable moments was the evening meal with the drivers. It was great. I wrote it in my second post about Indian stories.

Now, about the cons. There are plenty.

1. Scam and misleading.

That is the worst thing that ruins the impression. Some people who reach you are very annoying. They try to sell their goods and products, get you somewhere, and ‘force’ you to sign something 5-10-20 times more expensive than it is. Quick example — loom store in Jaipur. Selling a shirt for 2500 rupees, then dropping the price to 500 rupees. The cost is probably around 50 or so. And this is everywhere. At some point, it becomes annoying. I don’t mention tuk-tuk drivers — they will call you all the time.

2. Dirt and garbage.

Unfortunately, it is true. It is pretty messy in India. You may see folks washing dishes in the small plastic tub on the street using the same dirty water over and over. Or you may walk to the Archeological site passing a dump. The alleyways it is smelly and dirty. Something is constantly leaking. I was pretty surprised rats were not everywhere. For those who are sensitive to dirt and smells — it is the wrong place.

3. Service.

I am not used to that annoying style of begging or forcing you to pay tips. I remember issues when we were scammed in Las Vegas for tips. I remember the funny story in Israel when the guy was running a block to reach us because we paid not 15% but 12% of ‘volunteer’ tips. I don’t like paying tips. Also, because I was a bartender and we never asked for any. We provided good service because it was our job. For little salary. In China, I learned that you are not forced to pay tips, or at least you know you pay them and how much (Hong Kong). Sometimes, the service quality is so poor you don’t understand why the hell this guy is asking you for anything.

4. Airport in Delhi.

A pretty mad place with mad passenger behavior and lousy service. Called the best airport in Cental Asia, though. A real joke.

Next post will be about flights and quarantine in Hong Kong.

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