50 things we’ve learnt during our 111 days in India.

1. Your feet will never be clean… No matter how hard you scrub.

2. TukTuk drivers are incapable of telling the truth – either about distance or price or location or gradient of road.

3. Apu never charged Homer Simpson cold tax on his Duff beer… I grew up disillusioned!! (One even tried to cold tax my ice cream – until Jayne asked for a warm one!).

4. As a white westerner, you could go out naked or in a burka and the locals would still look at you in the same way. 

5. Deluxe hotel doesn’t equal hot water…

6. Or wifi…

7. Or cleanliness.

8. You will pay at least 10x the amount for any entrance fee as a tourist. 

9. Delhi belly is inevitable… Embrace it with Limca! 

10. Personal space is a fantasy. 

11. Private buses come in a wide variety… And paying more doesn’t mean better quality or comfort. 

12. Getting up earlier than your neighbour (shop owner or house keeper), means you can brush the rubbish in front of their door to sort out. 

13. Bins are what you put your rubbish next to.

14. You are every shop keepers ‘friend’ or ‘sister’.

15. And when they saw you yesterday, you promised you’d go into their shop today (even if you have just arrived in town).

16. Getting out of a bus or train station through the mass of TukTuk drivers should be an ironman challenge… Or an Olympic event. 

17. You are ‘aunty’ to every child in the country. 

18. Chai tastes better from street vendors than it does in hotels. 

19. Don’t look at the chai pots or you won’t drink it. 

20. Bus stand street food is the best and freshest street food you’ll find.

21. Pharmacies are a hypochondriacs dream, and have everything to sort out any kind of diseases.

22. Piracy is a crime… But it’s bloody cheap and will save the day when you just want to watch an English film!

23. If you’re in a ‘traffic jammy’, it is perfectly acceptable to steal goods from the truck in front. 

24. On a bus, there is always room for one more person…

25. If you wake up wanting to kill someone, don’t leave the hotel room!!! It only gets worse when you go outside…

26. Crossing the road is 2% looking both ways, 4% bravery and 94% crossing your fingers and hoping for the best!!!

27. On a completely empty bus, the next passenger to get on will always sit next to you.

28. It is free to look…

29. But you are a ‘nasty’ tourist if you don’t look in their shop!

30. Cows can, and do, attack!

31. Bus conductors are the nicest, most helpful people you will ever met – unless they’re a woman… Then it’s a camera in your face and a wrong bus!

32. Eyeliner on babies… You never get used to seeing it!

33. Jayne and I on a seat equals 4 Indian women on a seat…

34. 25km per hour on any form of transport is fast.

35. Someone is always sick on a public bus… Chose your seat carefully… And preferably near the front to avoid splash back through the open windows!

36. Standing on a street corner with your arm out trying to get a vehicle to stop is perfectly acceptable.

37. Everyone thinks you are nuts for walking anywhere – even just to cross the road.

38. Eating with your hands gets easier but the temptation to lick your fingers never leaves.

39. Temples are beautiful – but you do begin comparing them to each other eventually.

40. Indian museums have some of the best mis-translated signs ever.

41. Your mouth might get used to the spices but your belly will never get used to the bacteria.

42. A hot shower is what dreams are made of.

43. Trains run on a approximate schedule. 

44. Buses run on a precise schedule – even if it means travelling at speed!!

45. Monkeys are evil – and they know what they want from your bag.

46. For a country that never sleeps, the airports have opening and closing times.

47. Beer after altitude trekking is never a good idea.

48. The Indian head bob is a dangerous move for non-native Hindu speakers.

49. Indian time varies across the states – 5 minutes could mean 1 minute in one state and over an hour in another. Be prepared to run at a moments notice.

50. It is called incredible India for a reason… But it will, at times, be incredibly tiring!

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