While traveling, and it should apply to not traveling too, I try to do something helpful on a daily basis. It doesn’t matter how meager or grand it is. It’s just nice to make a contribution to the human race. By doing something, anything, it keeps the consistency and mindfulness going.
I sometimes think: If everyone tried to focus on doing one daily altruistic deed, the world would be even better than it already is.
Upon arriving in India’s mega capital this afternoon, I was on a mission to cross out items from my Delhi to-do list.
I’d scribbled the list down while on a shabby but efficient local bus from Jaipur this morning.
This man had the most popular stand I saw. He was churning out this crispy, yummy, fried form of bread.
For the first half of my stay in North India, I was very careful about what I ate.
I diligently made sure that food was cooked over a fire in front of me. This ensured that any potentially harmful bacteria was destroyed before corrupting my bloodstream and intestines.
I carefully inspected stalls, trying to judge how long food had been sitting out. I didn’t eat raw veggies or fruit that may have been hanging around.
I still haven’t eaten flesh food including fish or chicken.
I purposefully ate at stands and little restaurants that seemed to attract a lot of locals.
I was careful of juice made with bad ice; bad for a foreigner who hasn’t yet built up and may never build an immunity to bacteria on the subcontinent.
Big cities compared to smaller cities and towns are different dimensions within the same land. This holds true all over the vast earth, and it’s even truer when you’re comparing a megalopolis to a smaller city, town or rural area.
Considering that I’ve travelled a fair deal, I figured that culture shock was a thing of the past. Now that over a week has passed in northern India, I realize that’s not the case.
On my recent trip to Central America, the culture shock was minimal. This is not the situation here, now.
India is considered a part of the Asian continent; however, it’s the only land on earth that can be considered a subcontinent. I suggest that we regard it as a continent as its unique cultural heritage deserves this distinction.
If you arrive in Delhi, or probably any huge city in India, and you stay in a touristy/backpacker’s location, you’ll be a target for certain scams. I recommend you set aside $50 or so as psychological write off money just in case. This way the potential trauma will be abated.
Don’t worry. The cons are not intended to harm you. They’re only to steal your money.
That said, following are three scams that I fell victim to in Delhi.
Glancing down from the second floor of the Café Nirvana, I see two kids in bare feet. They can’t be more than five or six. They’re wearing shabby, dirty clothes and placing their hands out politely. They’re not pushy. After being ignored, they dance merrily together along the road, probably to the next place where they’ll ask for a handout. I think: Gosh, talk about being shorted by society.
While walking around in the blazing hazy sun, I lost track of time. One moment blurred into the next. Subcontinental multiculture abounds. This capital megacity seems to attract people of different ethnicities and language groups.
Despite needing to hustle to catch my connecting flight at Heathrow, all went very smoothly on my three-flight hop across the earth. I hardly interacted with anyone as I miraculously managed to get three seats to myself on all three flights.
I do remember one experience with turbulence. While in the galley pouring a cup of water from a two-liter bottle, the plane started jumping. This caused me to miss the pour completely. The friendly flight attendant and I laughed simultaneously.