India has been tough on us at times; it frustrated us, disgusted us, scared us, but it also took our heart away, it excited us, loved us, made us smile, and provided human warmth. But India is not for everyone: for various reasons, many people are frightened by the idea of travelling to India – and among those who go, only who is willing to scratch under that rough surface, made of noise, scams, corruption, dirt and poverty, gets to its heart and is rewarded with an intense, unforgettable travel experience.
Believe it or not we miss India already and we noticed that we end up speaking about it very often.
When we were in India we made a list of things we loved about it (and some we hated, like touts, honks and open-air sewers :)) – we had in mind to write a post about these things, but just before we began working on it, a friend sent us an article written by British Adventurer Alastair Humphreys:
We absolutely loved his post and his pictures are brilliant. We agree on every point he makes about India, so we thought it’d make more sense to share Alastair’s article before adding our 6 things:
- Yes, or maybe? The way Indians wag their head sideways in an eight-like shape to say yes, or maybe, melted our hearts
- Indian hospitality and friendliness – things like being invited for tea or for a meal by Indians, even if you just met them. Indians can be excellent hosts and are able to make you feel special
- Moustaches – in India they come in every size and shape
- The Indians attitude in front of a camera. Seriously, most Indians like to be photographed and will pose for you if you show them your camera and smile. If you like to photograph people then India is your paradise.
- Bollywood. If you haven’t watched a Bollywood movie in a cinema in India, you haven’t lived 🙂 but prepare to stand up and sing the national anthem before the film starts! We also participated as extras in a Bollywood movie on our last day in Mumbai, and it was a great experience.
- Traditional outfits – India is stepping into the global world and modernizing without losing its traditions, especially when it comes to clothes. Sarees and dhotis are very much photogenic. I’m particularly fascinated by the the way some Indian men wear dhotis with western style shirts. Romana loves sarees – she also got to wear one once