First trip to India: our travel continues! Did you miss first part of our journey? Don’t worry, you can find it here in the previous post. Yes, India is so incredible and interesting that one post is far too little to talk about it! And this is just an intro to the new posts series of #MyIndia.
There are three trips you take to India: the one you think you’re going to have – that you plan for; the one you actually have; and the one you live through once you go back home.Erin Reese
India will surprise you, will challenge you and will make you smile. It will amaze you, will soothe you and energize at the same time. India might change the way you looked at life or its values. It will teach you to appreciate more and it will make you miss what you will leave behind while boarding your return plane. That’s incredible India.
This is indeed India!… The land of dreams and romance, of fabulous wealth and fabulous poverty, of splendor and rags, of palaces and hovels, of famine and pestilence, of genii and giants and Aladdin lamps, of tigers and elephants, the cobra and the jungle, the country of hundred nations and a hundred tongues, of a thousand religions and two million gods, cradle of the human race, birthplace of human speech, mother of history, grandmother of legend, great-grandmother of traditions, whose yesterday’s bear date with the modering antiquities for the rest of nations-the one sole country under the sun that is endowed with an imperishable interest for alien prince and alien peasant, for lettered and ignorant, wise and fool, rich and poor, bond and free, the one land that all men desire to see, and having seen once, by even a glimpse, would not give that glimpse for the shows of all the rest of the world combined.Mark Twain
FROM A TO Z
I hope you enjoyed reading the first part of the letters, from A to L! Did you have a chance to do a bit of guessing last time, which words will come up this week to represent India further? Just scan below! Let me know if you managed to guess any of these!
For sure, most of the standard travel guides for letter M would talk about… hmm… mango, map, money, Mumbai, Modi, made in India or movies. But, mosquitoes? Yes! And for letter P, maybe you considered people, population, politics, post, photos or poverty. But, potatoes? 🙂 Yes, let’s be practical! That’s what I love about travels. So let’s continue this journey together! M to Z time!
Get ready for mosquitoes! There are many! So when packing, don’t forget anti-mosquito spray or just buy one here. Also, try to avoid places with stagnation of water. And don’t worry – not all mosquitoes pass malaria. Before my first travel to India I got all possible injections, including malarone medicine. That was first and last time. Personally, I recommend to skip unless you will be travelling to more risky areas.
Nothing works better wonders than knowing few words in the local language! When you meet people use ‘namaste’ (hello/greetings). Also remember that namaste is usually spoken with a slight bow and hands pressed together! (gesture called as anjali mudra)
To thank someone use shukriyaa or dhanyavaad (thank you). Basic numbers are ‘ek do teen’ (one two three). The most commonly used phrases are ‘theek hai’ (OK) or ‘achcha hai’ (it is good). And don’t be surprised to hear ‘Hinglish’! It is super common to use a mix of Hindi and English together. Makes it easier to follow and understand!
I am not surprised that India is described as incredible. It is truly one-of-a-kind place in the world. From its stunning nature to so rich traditions and culture. And so many unique things that can be found only here. For example, in India trucks encourage honking or big white pumpkins are hang by the entrance door to avoid ‘evil eye’! Visit, explore and discover.
Poland is among top countries in the world when it comes to potatoes consumption per capita (lately, top 6). And thinking India, I have always thought rice. But I never knew that in India potatoes are eaten so often, even for… breakfast! So if you like potatoes or are worried about your diet in India, just ask for ‘aloo’! You will feel like at home!
Looking for a quiet holiday? Avoid cities, go to Himalayas or other places full of nature. One thing is sure about India: it is loud, noisy, car beeping is on, street sellers can be heard nearly everywhere. It is part of its charm! Every morning, around 9 am, all I hear is a street vendor selling lemons with a loud voice “lemonnn, lemonnn”! Now I also know why My Better Half told me once in Poland “it is strangely quiet here”.
That’s one of my favorite items. Before my first travel, my colleague told me “don’t bring high heels – no need”, and I couldn’t understand as I love high heels. So unless you are attending a wedding or going for a business trip, high heels can stay home. Also, as Indian streets are super crowded crossing a road might look like a ‘play-station’ game! A bit of practice and you can clear all levels!
As in any corner of the world: be mindful when travelling. Nothing less, nothing more. India is a huge country, so safety might vary too. One highlight only, there are many street dogs in India. During the day there are very calm as many people are around. Just be careful when streets get more empty at nights. If possible, avoid.
In India you can forget a word ‘tea’! Instead: remember ‘chai’! In India there is no day without chai. It is a black tea boiled with milk and sugar. If you want a bit of ginger and spices in it – then go for masala chai! As the water is boiled to make tea, you can try it also from the street stalls! And if you want less sugar or sugar less – say it before placing your order!
Taking a taxi from the airport is easy, however getting a taxi within a city (and not paying at least triple for it, once you are lucky to get one) is a challenge. Better have Uber or Ola app installed in your phone. Prices are great, additionally both Uber and Ola offer also rickshaw (auto) drive options! Advantage: you won’t have to bargain as it will be a local price!
India is the top country in the world when it comes to the number of vegetarians. So if you are a veg or vegan person, that’s a paradise place for you! In many places, veg food is the default one. There are also many veg only restaurants. When heading for a buffet lunch or dinner, there are usually two options available: veg and non-veg one. And if you like fish or meat, don’t worry – really a lot of yummy options here!
During my first visit in India, I was so careful about water that I even brushed using mineral water 😀 (in 4 star hotel). I learnt my lesson: you can easily brush using tap water, no issue at all! 🙂 Just be careful when eating outside, if you are venturing to a local restaurant for a local cuisine – then go for bottled water. While eating in good restaurants or 4/5 star hotels, you can ask – with no worries – for filtered water (free of charge).
That’s a great tip I’ve learnt from My Better Half. Whenever your passport is copied, just limit the chances of this copy to be misused. For example, if you are issuing a local sim card, just ask for the passport copy that was made and write on it “for sim card issuing only”. Helpful tip.
I love yoga. I was so happy, back in 2015, to hear that International Yoga Day was established on my birthday! 🙂 Travelling to India you will discover that yoga is present everywhere: from pre-schools, parks to houses roofs. And you don’t need any expensive clothing or equipment for it!
“We owe a lot to the Indians, who taught us how to count, without which no worthwhile scientific discovery could have been made.”Albert Einstein
Did you know that “zero” was invented in India? List is really long! Just some more examples: numeral system, buttons, natural fibers (cotton, wool, jute), cataract surgery, shampoo, wireless communication, the USB, yoga or board games. So don’t wait a lot, if you haven’t yet, and visit India soon. It is indeed: Incredible India!
travel virtually to india with movies
‘A five-year-old Indian boy is adopted by an Australian couple after getting lost hundreds of kilometres from home. 25 years later, he sets out to find his lost family.’
‘A mistaken delivery in Mumbai’s famously efficient lunchbox delivery system connects a young housewife to an older man in the dusk of his life as they build a fantasy world together through notes in the lunchbox.’
‘A Mumbai teenager reflects on his life after being accused of cheating on the Indian version of “Who Wants to be a Millionaire?”.’
‘The people of a small village in Victorian India stake their future on a game of cricket against their ruthless British rulers.’
Have you visited India already? If yes: which one suggestion would you give to India’s new travelers? If not yet: which tip did you find most useful in this post?
Moments that matter, no matter where in India.