Compared to Australia, European countries as well as northern America, Asia is very very different. A lot of the citizens live in poverty, streets are crowded and dirty often times, and tradition and culture couldn’t be more unlike.
Personally Asia fascinates me – with all its colors and intense smells, the friendliness of the citizens, the language and the way of living – but there for sure are people who dislike Asia. However I do believe that this is based on a “cultural shock”. It is not only in travelling, but when one has expectations about something and it turns out to be different one is unhappy about the situation.
So I guess being prepared about what will expect one in the streets of India lowers being shocked when arriving.
The most obvious thing seen in the streets of India will be poverty. The gap between rich and poor couldn’t be any bigger. While some rich business men wake up each morning in some de luxe apartment complexes with golfing and pool area, just down the street whole families spent the night on a cardboard in the dirt.
Even though it is really sad and broke my heart a couple of times – especially when they were begging for money – please don’t let your time in India be slammed by those experiences.
It did not only happen once that traffic was stuck because of a cow crossing the street. Not only in small towns and villages animals – like cows, pigs and even chicken – walk in the streets, but also in the capital city Delhi cows settled and decided to call this their home.
India without lots of traffic wouldn’t be India anymore 🙂 All varieties of vehicles dominate the streets all throughout the country. Honking and yelling and no obvious traffic rules, that’s what Indian streets are made out of.
Small booths by the roadside sell everything from cooled drinks over fruits and snacks to Indian food. In some other travel guides, such booths are labelled “must haves”. I however would be careful – especially during the first few days upon arrival – with such foods. If you make sure the bottles were closed before drinking and feel like your stomach has adjusted, you should be fine though.
Tiny shops selling food, clothes, accessories, colourful cloths or offering services like cutting hair belong to Indian streets just as much as all the other things listed. Not only in the bigger cities, but also at random places at the roadside they offer their goods.
Dirt and rubbish
Again, India’s streets can’t be compared to those from countries with litter service or road sweeper. Especially in bigger cities there will be a lot of plastic at the roadside. But this is just how it is, and I still found India’s landscape and scenery to be breathtaking beautifully.
Overloaded trucks and people
When taking a trip outside major big cities one for sure will get sight of more than one truck loaded at least twice the amount for what the loading area was made for. Some trucks were leaning to one side like the leaning tower of Pisa, whilst other driver’s cabs disappeared underneath the batches.