Things You'd Like to Unsee in India

Posted on the 19 March 2014 by Elena @elenatravelgram
New Delhi India
Probably, I will never stop considering one of the most amazing countries I've visited with all the amazing places I've seen, people I've met and food tasted, yet there’s still some things I’d rather push somewhere deeper down into my memories.
1. Litter and dirt everywhere.
I've read pretty lot of different stuff before going to India - blogs, guides, books and other stuff I could find online in different languages. It was one thing that everyone warned about -terrible dirt!
My friends were so optimistic about me catching up some sort of disease and were like "Girl, don't die there". My mom insisted on doing all sort of vaccination, that I've managed to skip. But you know what?I had no health problems at all, except for a 2 day running nose after getting cold in a train from Agra to Jaipur.
I've eaten local food mostly, street food and didn't take a gallon of various antibacterial soaps and tonics.
Still, yes. You will see litter on the streets like anywhere else in the world. Maybe a bit more. And pretty much of plastic – it’s the biggest problem India currently strives with.
2. People pooping in public.

When riding anywhere in train be prepared to enjoy not only pretty rural landscapes, but the locals sitting over the rails and well, doing their shit. I really can't understand why the railroad is considered to be the perfect place for doing this, but the fact stays the fact.
3. Beggars.
Dwelling around most tourist attractions, these guys will be pretty persistent and annoying. "One dollar, miss" pleads; hungry gestures and whining will be quite lasting. Just ignore them and continue doing what you were doing. Eventually, they get lost (in around 15-20 mins).
Remember, that in case you give at least one a few rupees, in 10 secs you'll be surrounded by a crowd and it would be really hard to get away. Even if you have small stuff like candies or pens for kids, still try not to give away it. It slowly becomes a bad custom in some regions and all white people are started to be considered as gift bags only. Be a responsible traveler.
4. Traffic.
Most time when getting a ride, I felt like it would be better to keep my eyes shut. The traffic is crazy with cars, loads of bikes, scooters, horses, rickshaws and cows on the road. I can't say that Indians are terrible drivers as I've seen no road accidents, but as a passenger first few times you feel quite ... stiffed. Things you'd like to unsee in India Crossing the road is hell of adventure too.Pedestrian crossings are rather rare. As they say, when in Rome...just like the locals, stretch your open palm to the humming traffic flow and feel your Jedi force, by stopping them all to let you cross. Just don't practice that on highways.
5. Cow poops.

Try to watch your step, especially in the dark, as the holy animal is free to walk wherever it wants and does its business wherever it wants too.

Things you'd like to unsee in India

Blondie from Agra

And you'll see pretty lot of dried round poops laid in straight rows on the sun or stick to the walls of houses in rural areas. When dried, it's as good as firewood.

Things you'd like to unsee in India

Drying dongs on ghat in Varanasi

 6. The funeral (Manikarnika) ghatin Varanassi
For Hindus it's considered immensely sacred to be cremated at the bank of mother Ghan in 3000 year city of Varanasi. According to recent stats, there’s around 80 people cremated here daily.
Funeral ghat Varanasi
Do you know how much wood is needed for that?Around a ton. Not everyone can afford that, so quite a lot of people don't get fully cremated.
There's even a special profession usually occupied by the untouchable cast - bone breaker. That's who goes over the ashes and crushes bones and skulls that weren't fully burned down.

Funeral ghat Varanasi

Photo by S. Plattner.

I’m not much into such ceremonies, so it’s been quite a mixed experience of watching the whole process from the boat, parked close to the ghat. 7. Some guesthouses. Housing is extremely cheap and you can get a room in less than 10$ a day, but just be accurate with your choices. New shiny facades can trick you into a really creepy lodging.

Kolkatta guesthouse

Kolkatta guesthouse

In Kolkata, I was offered an 8 sq m room with no windows at all, but it was changed to a one with a view right into someone else's house.
8. Rats Yeap, quite a lot of these lil’ fellows you'll be seeing dashing around streets at night. While sitting at the porch of my hotel in Delhi and enjoying few beers with my travel buddies, we've made a game on the fastest rate to chase the food :)
Still, all these things didn't make my trip less enjoyable and I'm so much into re-visiting India once again! What are your things and experiences to add to the list? 

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