Today, I plan to write specially for the American tourists who come to visit India every fall. Well, there are a few things you should know about the country and its people before setting off to India.
First things first. If you do not know much about the country, let me give you a small update. India is not the land of snakes and scorpions.
If you knew that, India is not the land of call centers either.
India is a culture rich country, full of tradition and heritages. People are kind, gentle and loving. Being an Indian, I welcome you to explore this awesome diversified country.
We just love our guests, and as the saying goes, we see God in them.
1. There might be inner fights going on the basis of caste, religion, region, creed etc. But as an outsider, when you visit the country, you will meet an Indian, not Hindu or Muslim.
2. Unfortunately, if you get stuck somewhere, there is no helicopter service. But for sure you will find someone to help you out. C’mon, we are 1.2 billion in the world.
3. If someone asks you to get photographed by him, do not get confused. Some people love to get photographed with foreigners. Well, arrange it in this way. You go to another country and take photographs of places but for Indians, foreigners themselves visit us and we take photographs at our comfort.
4. If you are a girl do not venture out alone. There are a few people in our country that cannot control the below the belt department. And if in search of solitude you go to the jungle, you won’t be alone there. As a matter of fact there is no place to be alone in India. We are a country with 1.2 Billion people, we are literally everywhere.
5. When it comes to traffic rules, we drive on the left hand side of the road. We do not follow the basic driving rules, therefore be alert while walking on the road.
6. For technical assistance, let me remind you that our measurement units are a bit different from yours. We measure distance in Km’s, weight in Kg and all liquids in liters. Our appliances run on 220v AC and have EU plugs. It will hence be wise to carry plug converter for all your gadget chargers.
7. Mosquitoes in India are mostly malaria free. It is safe to go camping in a jungle in the country. We are not affected by the disease much.
8. Though Taj Mahal is the major attraction of India, there are many other places worth visiting too. A bit of Googling will help. Type ‘Top Tourist Attractions in India’ and get the map.
9. Get prepared with the tickets beforehand. Book your train tickets all in advance and do not rely on IRCTC. We are 1.2 Billion and it is not easy to get a reservation. Even Rajinikanth cannot get you one. Umm…Rajinikanth who? He is the equivalent of Chuck Norris in India.
10. Always carry cash during shopping. Because, except a few big malls, most stores won’t accept your Amex or other credit card.
11. If you want to visit real India, Google won’t be much of a help. Make friends with a localite and ask him for interesting local spots. You will be shocked at the beautiful revelation.
12. Now this is interesting. People having Pani Puri/Gol Gappa at places where the server dips his hands in the spicy water to fill up the shallow balls is a common site in India. I do not guarantee if he has washed his hands or not but you for sure won’t die eating them. But, if you are hygiene conscious there are a few places too, where gloves are put on.
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