Maybe because I live mainly in India since seven years and because I have part Indian blood and family as well, but anyway.. often I ve been asked about travelling there and advices and bla bla.
This is reason of this note.
How u would experience India may be different from where u come from anyway.
There is an Italian saying that goes like this ”Every world is a town” but India is a different universe I would say.
Or maybe its all worlds, at the extremes and the opposite of them, at the same time.
If something happens its very good or very bad. For sure you won t be bored.
Its not a gentle place. If u open to it. U can be confronted with ur own limits because that where India takes u.
Your extreme tireness, wonder for majesty, scenery, impossibility of conceive measure of time, happiness, poverty, luxury.... and life and death is just there but in all this shaking process some good of u can come out that you don t know also.
If you come from west u may feel hippie enlightened suddenly, which is good but also possible that you don t have answer or awareness to too many things.
SO philosophy a part.
Before leaving, whenever u d go to a doctor and tell.. “DOC I'm going to India”
usually the reaction is: "AH" and a list of vaccinations comes.
I d say: better not.
Better u do not vaccine so much and be aware what u do, eat, drink.
There r soo many things u can get India that u can't get vaccinations on everything and better to strengthen immunity than load it.
Even though I had malaria, I would still not suggest malaria treatment. It makes ur body weak and exposed to other things maybe worse.. like chikungunya or dengue fever (which don t have any vaccination yet btw).
So here a list, which is mostly on common sense.
- DO NOT drink causally water, never from tab, always better paged. its available everywhere. (It doesn’t mean that u'll definaltely die immediately if it happens)
- Eat properly: better cooked food. Curries, gravies, cooked veg are everywhere. Daal (lentices) is good for protein and everywhere. U may ask for less spicy but still get spice.. thats indian food.
Plain rice is good and available everywhere. Chapati and naan (bread) as well.
(usually restaurants are inside hotel, good hotel.. good restaurant)
-If u eat on the road, prefer fried or deep fried food, it may not be so healthy but is more hygienic (high temperature oil sterilizes everything)
-Fresh juices are tempting but are more risky than other stuff, if u want a fresh juice, get a coconut water or a lemon soda. (soda is paged and lemon vitamin c is good enough)
Otherwise buy and peel fruit urself.
Bananas r great naturally packaged fruits options. You would need potassium.
-Don t think dogs and cat are like the one in your flat for you to play and take videos. They yes need love but in India there is still rabies.
-Wash you hands before eating but use preferably only the right to eat (the left one is for impure things).
-Observe Indians and learn from them.
In India u may feel more tired in general, you should not plan your day and number of things as u would do in ur city: the weather, the pollution, the curiosity of ppl , the sounds, will require more energy from you and also, if you don t pack you schedule u will allow alway surprises.
But actually these will happens anyway.
AS GIRL if u come from west,
- Don't look at guys as u would look at home. A casual look is already a contact and a possible invite, even if you don t know it, but its up to you...
Behave like proper Indian girl. Travel with your bfriend or friends and share a sober connection with outside ppl.
If you are with your boyfriend, do not share any affection in public.
- Don t feel disrespected if a third unknown person will talk to you indirectly (actually its a sign of respect to you). If a guy is there with you he will be the one dealing with the outside ppl.
Let him do mostly.
- Wear Indian clothes: there are amazing colours, material and better avoid miniskirt or anyway do not show your legs.
- Always carry a “duppata,” a scarf to cover your upper part, and its good for AC rooms and dust when you are around.
India is curious about foreign ppl and you will never feel transparent when you are around.
People can be the most warm and sweet and welcoming.
But as turist u are also a "wallet with leg", keep that in mind, and bargain ALWAYS (maybe not is structured international shop) and give tips always (to who carry your bag or watch man, or for little help..keep always 10,20,50 rupees with u for these).
Rules in India are always relative and there is always a way to solve any kind problem. U can think out of the box in India.
Ppl is good and bad as everywhere, just feel the person even when you don t understand the language.
Usually the first driver, or first seller, or first hotel that u find or comes to your way is not the best choice. Trust more.
You can visit India anytime everywhere with a king wallet or with tyneist budget, just u need to decide and adjust. And be ready to miss adventure or feel a raja.
Trains need to be planned and booked in advance (unless u want to end in unreserved compartment but I would not suggest even if u r a guy, at least at first trip in india)
Travel by night in bus is also a way of saving time and money, i donno about tireless.
Remember that span of time is never a precise word. The 8 h bus journey can be 14 h bus journey.
Give your self gaps to rest, to plan, to eat, to try again or whatever. Try not to be impatient. and don t have too many expectations.
- Don t pack too much stuff, (maybe just your medicine for your safety feel) in India everything there is available and more than that.
In hindi yesterday and tomorrow its the same word “kal” , the time is all there at the same moment and that whats counts.
Just be, and have fun!