Before I came to India I would ask people who had already been here to describe it for me. Everyone basically said the same thing, and I wondered how it could be as intense as everyone had said it was. Now that I’ve been here for almost a week, I will also have to describe it to you similarly:
In India, it’s as if every single one of your senses has a knob, and all the knobs are cranked to 11. Houses aren’t just painted a muted, reasonable color– they are bright cerulean, hot pink, or avocado green. Walking down the street, you don’t just smell a curry dish cooking at a nearby restaurant– you smell curry and pollution and exhaust and fruit and sewage and body odor all at once. Noises are that of your typical American city, times ten. The driving isn’t just chaotic, it’s absolutely insane when you factor in the speed bumps, people crossing, cars, and cattle. The food isn’t just one or two flavors, it’s a million different spices all dancing along your tongue– and not subtly, either. Traveling around Southeast Asia, I might have gotten a few stray stares here and there while walking down the street, but in India, every man will literally stop what they’re doing and blatantly stare at you until you are out of sight.
They say you either love or hate India. I can already tell that I love it.
We have been staying in South Goa, doing the beach bum thing and sleeping in a hut right on Agonda Beach for the past four nights. Agonda is very quiet, although it’s almost the end of their tourist season, so maybe it gets busier. We’ve decided to make Bangalore (Bengaluru) our next stop. Though it’s not the India I was expecting to see, it will be interesting to see a more sophisticated side of India that we might not experience elsewhere. Apparently the IT capital of the country is home to craft beer and hipsters! Since we’re staying for 11 days, we will have plenty of time to sample everything Bangalore has to offer.
Here are some pictures from the past week!