India is the largest democracy in the world and is the cradle of Hinduism. It’s often referred to as being schizophrenic for many kinds of things a traveler will encounter on a journey there. No one can explain accurately what you meet when you step off the plane but for one thing, it’s never boring. This was my 2nd time in India and again I can fill a swimming pool with weird India anecdotes.
- 1/2 Finished Work. India reigns supreme on the almost, quite, but not yet finished. This is seen in public works projects that always never seem completed to buildings where rebar dangles for eternity. Sidewalks suddenly end and restart without warning.
- Rickshaw + Religion. You can tell the religion of just about anyone in India in 5 minutes. It’s especially apparent with rickshaw drivers who proudly sport ‘Good is Good’ slogans or have a photo of Buddha.
- Foreign Famous. Just about everyone in India wants to be in a photo with you. Here you are, a perfect stranger and families approach you asking to take a photo with you. I have been in dozens of photos with Indians on my 5 week trip. I draw the line at men who will most likely use my photo to tell people I am his foreign girlfriend.
- Indian Size. Indian men don’t have the largest waists around the world. They are in fact very small compared to Westerners, evidence being shopping for clothes that fit. It would not be false to say that many Indian men are equivalent in size to an American 12 year-old boy.
- The Head Bobble. This is perhaps the most confusing gesture for a foreigner. It’s not quite a nod and not quite a ‘no’ but somewhere in the middle. I translate it as a ‘please’, thank you’, ‘yes‘ and ‘maybe‘. Plus it is fun to try doing it back to Indians.
- Cash registers. There is no such thing as a cash register in India, it’s basically a drawer where money is thrown into. Very bizarre but keep your eye out for it.
- Southern Indian Cinema. Bollywood as you know is the largest Indian film industry churning out an mind boggling thousand films a year. Well, lesser known Chhollywood & Tollywood, are 2 other native Indian industries catering to the native tongues (Bengali & Tamil) of South India. S. Indian films are not like they are in the US, production values are questionable along with hair, makeup and stunts. Also, lead stars (think Brad Pit-esque of Indian cinema) have literally millions of fans (remember India has 1.3 billion ppl) are almost comical by US standards.