My first trip to India

It was not love at first sight and first breath. My India was contradictory and different, it brought surprises and trials, a storm of emotions, experiences and cosmic sensations. India is an endless road with ever-opening horizons and ever-changing landscapes.

India is a kind of vinaigrette of the sweet smells of incense, feces and dead rats, of dark-skinned but smiling people, of fresh and exotic fruits, homeless people scurrying through the garbage dumps, cows, palm trees, the ocean and, of course, the richest spiritual culture.

I flew to Delhi in a state of excitement and expectation of something unusual. Faced with the carelessness and slowness of the local population, I immediately realized that the motto for my entire trip would be a line from the song of the same name by an American musician: Dont worry, be happy!

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But it was not there. Arriving in the smallest state of India, Goa - a former Portuguese colony - I wanted to cry and return home as soon as possible: +30 degrees against the backdrop of incredible humidity and stuffiness, when after 5 minutes of being outside you are covered with a centimeter layer of dust that has stuck to your already wet and sweaty body ...

However, after three days in this country, incredible changes began to occur to me: either local smells permeated every cell of my torso, or sea air penetrated into the brain, and sea water into my ears, or fun spices penetrated into my stomach, or maybe being the scorching sun scorched my head, but I felt good ... The atmosphere of universal happiness and love, boundless smiles on black faces, the ability to enjoy life in its most insignificant manifestations, amazing energy in this fabulous country ...

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The best way to get around the state is by scooter. It's cheap, fast, but not entirely safe. India has crazy traffic of cars, bikes, cows and people. Every crossing of the road is tantamount to suicide. I did not have the courage to sit behind the wheel of an iron horse, but I managed to ride with the breeze with the locals. The school of extreme driving is in their blood. The safest way to get around the state is a taxi, but it's expensive and not so fun.) You have to bargain with taxi drivers, while reducing the price by 3-4 times, and not only with them. Trade everywhere. This is a kind of attraction, but do not forget to smile and joke) And you will be happy in the form of a cheap trip or a coveted drum) But the most interesting and colorful way to travel is local local basses. It is very cheap, the cost of such a trip is 20-30 rupees, but you will get a lot of impressions and will not be left without attention, that's for sure.

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Another unique form of transportation is the sleeper bass (sleeping bus).

This is a big bus with recumbent seats, almost our reserved seat car, only the seats look like beds. On such a bus it is convenient to travel long distances, to another city or another state. I was lucky: I quickly fell asleep and did not have time to feel all the extreme, because the roads in India are terrible - these are steep serpentines and pits ... The bus either constantly throws up, or tends to the left, then to the right ... And the drivers are talking so loudly, apparently, in order to not want to sleep. In India, it is considered normal if the bus is delayed at best for a couple of hours, but here again I was lucky: my bus was only an hour late)).

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My sleeper brought me to the village of Hampi, in the north of Karnataka. This is a wonderful, with some kind of mystical power, a place in the middle of ruins, temple complexes, rice fields, monkeys and chipmunks. Many pilgrims and tourists come here. It's just calm here...

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Gastronomic India

As for the gastronomic part of my trip, I can say that I lost weight there. It’s not because I didn’t eat well ... It’s because my diet consisted mainly of protein foods ... Well, it’s stupid in a country where a cow is a sacred animal to eat meat, despite the fact that I am a big fan of meat, in a country , where the ocean is nearby, and there is always the freshest seafood, where it is always warm and you can enjoy a variety of fruits ... The local fish market looks colorful, but the stench there is indescribable. There you can buy a shark or huge shrimp, or a bunch of some other marine reptiles, the names of which I have not heard before).

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Products on the market are much cheaper than in a cafe, but I still preferred to eat in a cafe, turning a blind eye to the dishes, and even more so without going into details of how it is prepared. Because it was delicious for me, and the portions there are so large that it is better to buy them for two. And yes, do not forget to wash your hands or treat them with an antiseptic, it will not be superfluous. But still, I did not dare to try street food. Although no, I still tasted local street sandwiches ... they tasted so-so ...

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In general, India is not an end point, it is not an exit. This is just the beginning of the journey. So versatile, so unknown, so alive. I know for sure that I will return there. I accepted India, and it seems to me that India accepted me)) We somehow found a common language ...

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Author of the article and photo: Natasha Lisovskaya

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9 years ago

Very interesting. Especially about sleeping buses)

6 years ago

in India you become human again instead of continuing to feed your civilized ego. and, you know, you return to your youth.