We’re back in Mumbai awaiting our flight out of India. Driving in from the train station it was hard to recognize the town as the big dirty smelly place that shocked us when we flew in two months ago. The crowds didn’t seem as overcrowded, the pollution didn’t seem to affect us as bad and the beggars didn’t seem to beg as much as they did. We went for a walk down at Chowpatty Beach last night, people were out socializing, speed-walking, walking their dogs …how did we not find this the last time we were in town? Mumbai certainly hadn’t changed this much in two months had it?
Probably not, but after tramping around the country our expectations of what to expect from a large Indian city certainly had. We were a little shell-shocked upon our arrival in India. I’d never been to the third world before, and it had been a decade since LeeAnne had spent much time in a developing country. Now, we’ve come to expect dirt, noise and pollution. People staring at you, or expecting you to give them money are everyday events. We are use to it. Given some of the places we plan to go this may be a good adjustment, but I’m not sure about that yet.
Still if you travel to get yourself out of your “comfort zone” India is a good place to start. And it hasn’t been challenging the whole time. Goa and Kerala are very relaxing, easy to travel and on the whole comfortable places. The people are terrific.
Up north, things do get a bit more hectic, but you have to go for the sites: the things you picture in your mind are here, and you just haven’t seen the Indianess in India unless you’ve spent some time in Rajasthan and the UP.
Love it or hate it you, India will generate a reaction from you, and the only way to figure out which way you’ll fall is to come here.