Going to India is truly a life-changing experience. It’s breathtaking, shocking, beautiful, and like nowhere else in the world, all in one go. If you've been before, you'll totally get what we're talking about with the below...
Yes could mean no… or hello
The good old Indian head wiggle is the countries go-to form of communication and at first it’s SO confusing. It can mean literally anything. But after a while, you start testing it out for yourself and you realise how much you can communicate through context, a wiggle and a smile.
That’s not a crowd, *this* is a crowd
There’s no such thing as “personal space” in India. You know the crazy population stats but you can’t really appreciate what over a billion people living in a country means until you’re there. You’ll never feel stressed at a festival again once you’ve walked the streets of Mumbai or been to a temple in Goa.
You don’t need road rules to get from A to B
There’s a method to the madness that is driving in India. The sheer chaos of beeping horns, endless cars and zero marked lines is overwhelming on the first day but you soon realise that you can get everywhere you need to go quite easily. It’s a surprise that having no rules results in a system that works but that’s part of India’s charm; it always surprises you!
Cows are basically gods
They’re sacred and so deeply respected in India, that they’re not only not considered food, they’re also worth stopping traffic for! For most of us it seems weird, but once you’ve been to India and you’ve been up close to one of their celebrated cows you can really start to see the appeal. Those beautiful eyes and their slow grace… cows are kinda cool tbh.
Not getting sick is a work of art
Delhi belly, Montezuma’s revenge, or just plain old travellers diarrhoea (AKA ‘TD’); whatever you call it, it sucks. Avoiding getting sick in India requires preparation and constant vigilance and anyone who has been knows that keeping your mouth closed in the shower is a test of will power.
Joy is a way of life
You don’t need money to be rich in India. Indians have open hearts, huge smiles and face each day with a spirit and positivity that’s truly infectious. When you live in a country as packed as theirs it’s better to go about your day with a smile on your face. Most of us could probably learn something from them…
Mild does not mean what you think it means
Usually if you ask for ‘hot’ seasoning on your food you’ll get some spice. If you ask for ‘hot’ in India you will leave without an oesophagus. If you want a little bit of a kick, still ask for no chilli. Even those who adore a fiery kick know to ask for the chilli on the side.
‘Soon’ is an open-ended timeframe
Anyone who has been to India knows about ‘India Time’. They don’t have the rushing mentality that Western countries have and because of that, things always happen ‘soon’, which roughly translates to: ‘between 9am and 9pm’. The best thing you can do is be patient and go with the flow.
There’s Indian food, and “real” Indian food
We’ll be the first to say Indian takeaway is bloody delicious, but if you’ve ever dined on true Indian cooking in the motherland you’ll know they can’t be compared. Traditionally cooked food is so much richer. There’s a depth to the flavours, the quality of the spices are next level and access to the exact right ingredients makes it so, so tasty.