Every old man on the bus was demanding “MOVE, you and your big ass backpacks are blocking the aisle!”. Or at least what we assumed they were saying. In reality, a half dozen agitated men plus another few women were all pointing at us and demanding something incomprehensible through broken teeth in a language which was probably one of India’s 22 official languages. It seemed that everyone wanted us to move somewhere other than where we were standing in our hard won spots in the bus aisle. The only thing between us and moving anywhere were the other 1.4 billion people standing in the aisle with us. But they weren’t the problem, just us. We had fought to get on this bus as it rattled past, barely slowing to allow the hordes of riders to enter. One of us had to dive into the back door while the other sprinted towards the front entrance where there was a just enough of an open step to hold a body braced against the doorway. It seemed that everyone in India was between the two of us as we rode the only bus with enough room, hoping it was going in the right direction. Even the family of five sharing the single seat moped to our left looked quite a bit more comfortable.
India is a different world in every way. The sites, smells, sounds, culture and architecture all stand apart from those found in any other country we have visited. It has a blend of the most amazing and most uncomfortable experiences, making it a destination for travelers who are not faint of heart or stomach.
We are trying really hard to enjoy India, but it is difficult. We have visited over 50 countries and our month and a half in India has been amongst the least endearing. This is tough to admit as a traveler since every country is supposed to be mystical, tantalizing, or some other rubbish term meant to conjure magic feelings in a land far far away. Occasionally, a country can feel more like a visit to a trash pile and smell like urine. When we arrived in Delhi, our expectations of grandeur were quickly replaced with thoughts of escape to, well, anywhere else. Read more