Random Notes

Indian Vehicles (boring)

All the cars, buses and bikes here are absolutely gutless. It is very strange to have a country of such aggressive drivers, with such crappy vehicles. The cabs rule the road mostly, but even they struggle to over take put-puts on hills, because not one car I have seen so far can take a hill. The biggest motorbike I have seen here, is a CBR 600 in Aurangabad, but that was super rare; apparently the biggest bike you can get here is an Enfield 600, which I have not seen yet. Royal Enfield stopped making bikes in the 1980’s I think, but at least half of the bikes are Enfield’s. Most bikes here are 100 to 180cc… which must be to save on petrol, but the performance of the bikes I have seen are very strange, so I can only guess they are all modified for better fuel consumption.

Indian Hotels

When you ask for a room with hot water, you may well get that, but it may come in a bucket! Most rooms with hot water, have cold showers with hot taps for show, it is very strange. Allot of hotels have 12 hour recharge toilets i.e. one flush requires 12 hours to generate; I thought this was a one off, but to many hotels we have been to have had this strangeness, which I guess is for water conservation. They have the buckets used for cleaning squat toilets in every bathroom, modern or not, which is also strange.

Reservations don’t mean a thing here; a couple of times we had “reserved” rooms, only to find what we requested is gone or was never available in the first place…

Restaurants

They all recycle the straws and tooth picks. Even the fancy ones; when ever we are given straws, you have to check weather it has been bitten into; Tom even got a free spider in one of his! It eventually climbed out, but that could have been his protein for the day.

No one here has any idea what hash browns are; we have been up and down the country and everyone seems to think it is a barbequed potatoes.

Nearly every restaurant copies the menus of their competition, and when you try you order half of the stuff, they simply claim “it just ran out”, or “it is not possible at this time”, but by that time, you are sat down and it is a major hassle to leave, especially when you have drinks. Speaking of drinks, most restaurants and traders will some times claim they don’t have the drink you want, even if you can see it, so they can shift other stock. It is especially annoying in restaurants, when a Pepsi comes instead of a Thums up (Indian spelling), which is my new addiction.

Identity Fraud

India is a few years behind us in terms of scams i.e. everything we have been exposed to is very old hat, but they are open to identity fraud, as there is a law demanding ID is photocopied every time we use the internet. The internet cafes will always photocopy your passport name DOB and signature section, as well as the next of kin section, which for many has their actual address… that’s allot of information for some dude in a shop to have. The law states that only a photo ID is required which makes me even more suspicious when they photocopy addresses. Tom does not have a driving licence which is ok to use, so allot of people have his details. A guy here refused me access to the internet when I used my licence, which is photo ID and legal here, so my self and Tom ran away from that place as he may have been very dodgy (Jaipor BTW no surprises there)

Bad Habits

Before I came to India to start this trip I was smoking very heavily, I thought it was directly linked to work stress and I was right, as I went cold turkey immediately and don’t want to touch the things at all. I had a couple of cigarettes when I was absolutely wasted in the first week, but I will forgive myself that. I also had a bad nail biting habit, and this also seems to be work stress related as the problem went away without me even realising. Now how about the bad habits of the locals? They spit every other minute anywhere they feel like; not just a little spit, they spit western chewing tobacco style, sometime right next to you or in front of you; they have a bad habit of not checking their surroundings when executing any kind of action, which obviously carries over to their driving.

Crime!

No matter how much I moan about how wronged I have felt in x, y, Z situation, I have never felt threatened here; India feels very safe, but I hear it is different from a female perspective. There is an armed police man on every other corner and everyone I have spoke to has been very nice, they just have scary guns, some of which look very old skool: I swear I saw one carrying a WW2 Sten gun; most carry bolt action rifles, some with attached bayonets. Since writing this I have heard a story about a couple having a gun put to them; I have not dropped my guard since coming here, but I feel very bad for assuming the worst in people.

That is all.

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