I have to say that Indian airport security is like nothing I’ve ever experienced. There were more check-points and pat downs than anything I’ve ever experienced! That aside the flight from Mumbai to Newark was relatively uneventful (minus the snarky flight attendants). The flight from Newark to Orlando was outstandingly pleasant.
I had some time (approximately 16 hours) to brain storm some of the things that I noticed while in India … so here is the list in no particular order of things that stood out.
1) The food is out of this world
2) Spoon = Knife
3) Experiencing the traffic is it’s own adventure – organized chaos is one way to describe the blending of terror and exhilaration of being on the road
4) There is no such thing as “fine for litter” … trash is just thrown on the streets and later burned (the smell is something to get used to)
5) You can bargain with just about anyone for anything
6) Flip-flops rule the footwear scene
7) “Just for Men” could make a killing in India – men currently use a henna based dye and end up being “carrot tops”
8 ) There is an entire sub-culture of head bobbling
9) Indian Weddings and Receptions Rock!
10) An amazing usage of color in all fabrics and everyday life – makes the Western color pallets dull in comparison
11) If you stay too long, you run the risk of being married off
12) Hand holding and PDA is frowned upon – however there are Kama Sutra books on every corner… ????
13) Indian-Chinese food is AMAZING
14) Prepare to be groped when: riding the trains, moving through crowds, and in the security check-points at historical sites
15) The stereotype of Americans: we drink all the time, smoke all the time, and the girls go wild …. “90210” really was not good for the American image in India
16) The entire country needs to be spell-checked – example: As seen on bumper sticker “I am Proud Indian, so is my Aria” – On train “Stand Clear Off Doors”
17) If you are a dog you can sleep anywhere you feel like (middle of the road, sidewalk, driveway…wherever)
18) American pop culture and dance has nothing on Bollywood
19) Even the poorest of women have some form of “bling” on their arms, ears, feet, nose, etc
20) The people are generally friendly and loving in nature
Edith Wharton said “One of the great things about travel is that you find out how many good, kind people there are.” This is true of my time in India. On my part I always get homesick, but I found that I was surrounded by so many good people that it was like being with family and that made all the difference in the adventure and experience. My experience was amazing and I will always remember India, but there is just “No Place Like Home” (yes, I just quoted The Wizard of Oz)