365 Days of Writing – Day 78

Trash with animals

Trash

Horn please

Public transport

traffic

family

This will finish up India!

Yay, I got the ring. An hour and a half after the promised 7pm delivery but who’s counting? Yes, I did email the merchant and copy the tour company but that was just in case there had been a misunderstanding. What matters is the ring is beautiful! Exactly what I’d hoped for.

My last night in India. I could sit outside and gaze at a sky full of stars. I could walk around the grounds of the hotel and burn off some of the calories I’ve consumed at the incredibly delicious dinner. But “Ugly Better” is on cable. I haven’t seen the show in years, not since it went off the air, but here it is again!

It also gives me a chance to write up some other observations about “Incredible India” as the slogan goes.

Everyone we met was very friendly. They wanted to know where we were from. When I said the US, they mostly said “I love the US.” When I asked where in the US they’d visited, the answer 100% of the time was “oh, I haven’t been to the US.” The cost is prohibitive. They can’t travel to see our country but they love us based on Obama and what they’ve heard from the media. They’re also the happiest people I’ve ever seen. They live in conditions I would consider squalor but they’re perfectly content – smiling always!

Trash was everywhere. I think the locals don’t see it anymore. I mentioned the litter to one of our guides and he said that the trash gets picked up regularly. Who was he kidding! Stacks of garbage were visible on any corner, in vacant lots, off to the side of the main roads and in front yards of businesses and houses. The goats and pigs ate dined on it, the kids picked through it. I saw water buffalo, cows and bulls also sniffing through the trash piles. I could only suppose they were looking for something edible.

They drive like maniacs. Even on brand new roads with the lanes clearly marked, old habits take over. The horns start honking, the concept of a “lane” vanishes. Cars pass on the right, on the left. They drive around bicycles, motorcycles, trucks, cars and animals coming a hairs breath from contact without a single thought. The trucks all have “please horn” painted on their back. The horn is expected. The horn is required.

I’m glad I went but I’m not eager to go back. The flight was killer – nearly 23 hours from door to door. Thirteen and half hours time difference made the transition very hard.

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