Forget everything familiar, forget toilet paper, clean air and traffic rules.
Buckle up and get ready for a real culture shock. Welcome to my favorite country, India !
Two pale Norwegians stand stunned in the streets of New Delhi whilst looking at the chaos that has surrounded them. Hundreds of "rickshaws " ( India's answer to taxis ) , sacred cows and monkeys. There is garbage and people everywhere. Our noses now have a black interior cause of all exhaust, it is 45 degrees and we are to put it lightly; pretty damn confused. This is as far from Norway and Norwegian culture that I have ever been.
Everywhere you hear honking from cars andj buses. After having seen a sign behind the bus that says "Horn Please" understands why. Indians use the horn to signal the most, and it is perhaps not so surprising when none of the cars have side mirrors and no one seems to follow traffic rules. We put ourselves into a taxi, and the man behind the wheel tells us that there are three things you need in order to survive as a taxi driver in New Delhi: "good horn , good breaks and good luck ." During an hour of driving, we were confident that we saw our life in revue at least five times.
Like so many other tourists before us , we came to New Delhi to travel around in the " golden triangle ". To see the world famous temples and experience this country that so many are talking about. Taj Mahal, Agra Fort , Jama Masjid Mosque , the pink old city of Jaipur, the list is endless . And the temples are amazing! It is not without reason that the Taj Mahal is on the list of the seven manmade wonders.
But India has more than just temples to show off . Here are the people least equally fascinating , because of their English - Indian accent , strange hodevugging (which we today do not know about means yes , no or maybe) , their way of staring at (preferably in a few hours and with mouth open), and their unfathomable funny way and haggle over . The lovely ladies with gold jewelry in the face, long black braids and beautiful saris in all colors of the rainbow . Children playing cricket and men hanging in the streets and spitting red after chewing " pan " in too many hours . India is undoubtedly a photographer dream place
When strolling along the streets in India will be encountered and constantly hit by fumes from spice mixes that make you hungry, even if you've just eaten . Indians are known for their pureness with recipes that have been passed down through generations , including Masalaa , chutneys and naan bread in all varieties. In addition there are so cheap that you almost do not believe it is possible . For two Norwegians who are accustomed to frozen pizza and ketchup result was two months of burning stomach and frequent toilet visits. Yet it must be said : better food should look long for !
The food was actually so good that we decided to take a cooking course while we were in India. We had gotten tips from other backpackers to visit a lady named Shashi, a woman who turned out and have an incredible life story. Many years back, her husband was killed and she was left with three young boys whom she had raising alone. In a year she had to sit in his apartment wearing a black sari and grieve, which is "normal" practice of a widow who has been married to a Brahmin (the top of castes in India). It had so happened that the widows could not work in this period, she was dependent for survival. The house Sashi and her children lived in belonged to her husband's family, who would not have anything to do with them. Water and electricity supply was turned off, and therefore had Shashi start working in the alley as a Husvask. At four o'clock in the morning, every day, she sneaked out to wash people's houses, and snuck back before anyone could see her. This she did for until one day she got an idea to teach tourists how to make Indian food. This proved to be a business she could live well off and she got sent all three sons in college. Shashi was just one of the wonderful people we met on our journey, which made the impression of India into something quite special.
For many tourists are India either somewhere you love , or a place you hate . There is so much of everything, and it can quickly become very intense . There are moments where you think , " what the hell have I gotten myself into ?" . For those considering a trip to India , I have some tips : " go with the flow " of meanings and add Jante Law and rules your home. Then you will find a country that surprises and charms you. A land full of colors, sounds and smells that your senses will never forget.