Here is the second of four posts about India. The first one was Colors of India, a photo montage of the trip. This one is my trip in lists. The next one is going to be what to pack when you go to India. And the last one is going to be ‘being in your element’. Alright, now that y’all know the order I feel more organized.
<< 6 things that really happened >>
- Somebody said the sentence “a monkey slapped my dog” out loud and it was a true statement.
- I sang “One Way Ticket” by LeAnn Rimes a cappella on a microphone at the karaoke night because Bossman decided to tell everybody that I could sing. I really need to learn the words to more songs that aren’t broadway, hymnals, or alto lines to jazz songs.
- Within an hour of arriving in India Bossman looked at us and said, “Guess what? You’re dancing at the Henna Party!” Little did we know this meant working for three days with a choreographer to learn a 90-second dance that all 17 Americans would be doing. I turned out pretty great though.
- After the Henna Party it started to downpour and one of Bossman’s cousins came over the sound system and said, “if you want to do a rain dance, now is the time to do it,” which resulted in everybody running outside and dancing in the rain in our traditional Indian outfits.
- I ate a McSpicy Paneer sandwich from McDonalds.
- Henna is piped out of a tube just like frosting is (who knew?). Once it’s piped on you need to stay still until it dries and then try not to touch anything for the next hour. Then you mix a lemon and sugar syrup and put it all over your hands and don’t move for another hour or so. Then you can crumble off the frosting like mix, but still shouldn’t wash your hands until morning. A nice man that I met three days before fed me dinner that night for a while, or at least until I got stubborn enough to believe I could do it myself, I think we call that liquid courage.
<< 6 things I will miss >>
- The chai. On the last day I drank three-and-a-half cups of chai, most of which were homemade. This is ridiculous because I shouldn’t actually have caffeine, but the shaking and heart racing was totally worth it.
- The dancing. There’s something about Indian music that makes it impossible to sit still. Not only that, but your whole body can get into it from toes to finger tips. You also don’t need to contain yourself while dancing – if you want to throw your arms up in the air, do it, if you want to kick your feet around, do it. I love that.
- The desserts. Almost every traditional dessert that was served to us was SO sweet it was brilliant. Please keep in mind that I’m a girl who could down an entire bag of cotton candy in 3 minutes flat and not think twice about it. I think my favorite was the jalebi.
- Taking pictures. Not gonna lie, it’s kind of awesome to have something cool to take pictures of every day – and at least 40 models on hand at any given moment.
- The colors. I looked at Bossman at one point and said “you look great in burnt orange, you should add that color to your office wardrobe,” but he told me that he could only pull off those colors in India. What does that even mean? Unfortunately, it means that it’s way more acceptable to wear fun colors in India than it is in the United States.
- The people. Oh my goodness, the people. Bossman’s entire family was incredible. So much fun and genuine and hospitable and down-to-earth and willing-to-help. I think I found most of them on Facebook already.
<< 6 things I will probably not miss >>
- Being in a vehicle in India. Those streets are crazy!! Lanes and street signs are suggestions, high beams are the norm, and everybody is honking all the time. Holy goodness. HOWEVER, I must say, I was impressed that I never once saw an accident, so it’s definitely possible that they’re actually better drivers than we are in the US.
- Malaria pills. Did you know you have to take malaria pills for an entire week after you get back? And while they’ve finally made it so that you can take the pills and not hallucinate I would really love to not feel nauseated all the time.
- Dogs in the streets. Dogs just wander around there, some of them hurt, most of them pretty dirty. They didn’t really bother anybody, but I just felt sad looking at them.
- Being paranoid. As I’m sure I’ve mentioned before, I’m a hypochondriac. I never actually got sick in India, but I did spend a lot of time being worried that I was going to get sick.
- Shoe shopping. While this is not specifically India-caused, I don’t usually shoe shop in the US. I was unfortunately on a mission for gold sparkly shoes though to match my outfits. The first day we went shopping there were 7 girls all shoe shopping at the same time in a small store. It was pretty obvious that I was overwhelmed as I slowly backed myself into a seat and just sat there wide-eyed and not really talking. After the third shoe store I almost started crying. Yes, I’m admitting this on the internet.
- Being surrounded by couples. Nobody was really all that touchy feely, and nobody highlighted the fact that they were in a couple, but sometimes it made me a little sad, specifically when people started taking couples pictures and I realized I didn’t have anyone to take one with. Also, out of the 17 of us there were 5 couples, so that’s not exactly a small percentage. This isn’t something that bothers me often, but ever so often I feel it in my gut.
<< 6 things about my cultural experience >>
I’m prefacing this category by saying I saw a very small portion of Bangalore, India and spent most of the time at a wedding while staying at a resort, so these by no means are supposed to be generalizations of India.
- Everything happens on Indian Standard Time (am I allowed to say that?), which means that everything happens 45 minutes to 2 hours later than it was originally intended to happen. This means that you can sleep in later and not feel guilty about it.
- There was no part of the wedding that was about romance, it was all about families coming together and starting a life together and rituals and traditions and blessings. Definitely an interesting twist from the other weddings I’ve been to this year.
- Almost all of Bossman’s cousins had children, but none of them felt like parents as I’ve come to understand that word. All the cousins danced and joked around and drank and even did karaoke. This probably isn’t so much a difference between India and the US, but a difference between my family and Bossman’s family.
- It was surprisingly easy not to drink the water in the shower by accident. As somebody who likes to sing in the shower I was genuinely worried about it. Even though we were told the water at the resort was filtered, I just didn’t want to chance it.
- Dinner always started around 10:00pm. I don’t necessarily think that this was just a starting late thing. It did make large lunches and afternoon snacks much more important though.
- Some things were cheaper in India, and some things were not. Currently $1 USD is equivalent to 60 rupees. (Let me tell you, 6 is not the easiest number to divide by when doing mental math.) The two pairs of shoes that I bought (the second time we went shopping when there were only two of us) were approximately $30 USD each, and I could have bought pairs up to $70 USD. This seemed pretty standard to me. However, when we ate at McDonalds, we ordered 3 sandwiches, 3 sides, and a drink and the total came to less than $5 USD.
That’s pretty much my trip to India in a nutshell. Has anybody else been to India? Did you have some of the same experiences as me?
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Other posts about India:
The Colors of India
What to bring to India
Bossman’s Wedding Card