Before we started our doctor’s tour on Monday afternoon we spent an hour around the Gate of India, I in shorts and T-shirt, knowing that this is actually a no-go in India for women, but I had no choice since I had to get my only pair of long trousers washed that day. By the end of the day I felt so embarrassed that I now rather wear dirty or wet trousers, people even took pictures of us!!!
Extremely irritating is the smog in Delhi. We’ve never experienced anything like this and by now we try to avoid being outside. We hardly see the sun and the ten days we’ve been in Delhi now we had only one full day we could see blue sky. The smog is very smelly because it is not only caused by car and industry exhaust, but by burnt garbage. Johan keeps asking me if we will breathe fresh morning air in India as we were used to during our short stay in Empfingen :). I doubt it. And from the newspapers we learned that this year’s smog is the worst ever and that the different governments of the surrounding states blame each other for causing the smog – instead of acting!
Indians are multi-tasking. Everywhere and always. They never can just do one thing at a time. The person at the cashier needs to ‘handle’ three customers at the same time, that’s the least, if possible, more people should come in between. Drivers need to be on the phone while driving (same as in Europe by the way), everybody has to have at least two to three cell phones of which one is ringing and another one is at the ear. Nurses have to explain procedures to the patient and at the same time take instructions from another nurse, the guesthouse manager is talking to you while giving instructions to the laundry man, sharing the WiFi code with another guest and picking up the phone. Unfortunately the multi-tasking doesn’t make them more efficient.
I’ve been to India many times traveling for business which usually meant 5-star hotels, pick-up services and nice colleagues taking care of me all day. I then of course also noticed the extreme contrasts and returned home rather shocked after the first trip, having seen the poverty around the corner in its worst. But it is very different to live the way we do now and just be in the midst of everything.
We have to admit that after more than ten days on the Subcontinent we are still struggling and it is hard for us to get adjusted and used to the unknown. We are working hard on it, really!