ONLY in India…!
India is a country that stands out all on its own. It felt more like visiting Mars to me than a place on planet Earth. It’s colorful. The people have huge personalities. The lack of hygiene. Anything goes. We would stop, stare, jaw-dropped open, gawk, point, and never believe our eyes or the sites, sounds, and smells around us. When I say anything goes, I mean ANYTHING. We were the ONLY wide-eyed, bewildered looking fools around. To the rest of the country its daily life, a daily occurrence, and just the way things are. To me, I was living on planet Mars for 2 months.
Our list of “Oh-My-God” ONLY in India would this EVER happen Moments:
We were in the middle of a huge market (in a big city) standing next to a mom who was sitting on the filthy ground trying to sell clothes to sucker foreigners. I guess her little 5-year-old was trying to help her out with business, because he gained the attention of all the sucker foreigners around when he dropped his drawers and started pooping next to her. As our mouths dropped open in shock, his mom decided to help her little man out and clean him off. Her hand, his butt crack, and a splash of water. Ewwwww.
Cows, monkeys, dogs, and kids are the ONLY recycling system. The world is a trashcan and they are there to roam it, eat what plastic they can, and collect enough of the good stuff to make a little money from it.
We were in Pushkar at the famous “holy” lake. It looked far more dirty than holy and certainly not something I’d even consider standing in, let alone wash in or drink from!?! Anyway, a middle-class family was gathered at the lake when one of the daughters saw a cow close by in mid-pee. She ran to the cow, began CATCHING the pee straight out of the spout itself, and throwing it on her family. No one was mad, just laughing. As if that wasn’t enough she didn’t even bother washing the pee off her hands, she just started rubbing her hands through her hair!
Cows are KING. They own the streets. They own the highways. They do WHATEVER they want.
Urinals are built into the sides of streets. Actual URINALS line the main road in and out of the towns/cities. I guess it’s either build urinals in public or watch the men stand where the urinal could be and pee facing everyone. Yea, they like doing that everywhere too. The world is literally a toilet.
We were having a nice casual stroll down the side streets in Jammu, Kashmir when we started passing huge, overgrown marijuana plants that were taking over the streets!
A train is easily passed by a tuk-tuk, scooter, or push bike.
Bartering for toilet paper is a sad reality.
- Running, jumping, and heaving 30 pounds of backpack onto a MOVING train is do-able. Even if it means shouting at everyone in the train doorway to move and help pull you and your bags onto the train and save you from clinging on to the door like a sloth.
- My clothes had holes burned into them when a family thought it would be fun to set fireworks off on top of a roof that was facing the restaurant we were eating at. The waiters laughed.
- No toilet paper? Have no fear! Finish Sudoku puzzles, and read the 1,000 pages of Shantaram at warp speeds. Yes, Yes, Yes.
- Train stations become refugee camps as more and more trains are delayed for hours and hours and hours. Rhys and I slept on FILTHY train station FLOOR next to a couple of street bums when our train was delayed over 10 hours. Everyone around us said, “Don’t worry. Just sleep here, we all do it all the time.” I was about to fight a man for a piece of cardboard to spread out on.
- I shared the beach with dogs and cows.
- An old woman couldn’t be bothered to find a toilet or even walk around back… she was standing on the sidewalk next to her shop with a long skirt on letting the piss flow down her legs, over her feet, and clean off her dusty flip-flops. There was a river running from between her legs as we walked by her.
- A mischievous 3-year-old was running around town and ignored his mom’s warnings to settle down. What did she do? She tied his leg to a pole and left him screaming and crying. We left and went canoeing for three hours, when we came back… he was still tied to the pole!
I told you it was like Mars.