This is Olga writing, I am from Russia, Ukraine or Poland, depending on who I am talking to. Johan can’t stop laughing and thought that I should be called Olga by now, after so many people thinking I am from somewhere in Eastern Europe. Olga writes the filthy stuff, so be prepared and make sure you had breakfast already or don’t have a sensitive stomach, otherwise just skip this update.
The positive thing about having so much time here is that we are also able to get our visas sorted out for our ongoing journey to the Far East. Having checked the websites of both Thailand and Vietnam we decided to get our Thailand visa first, since it seemed to be more complicated. And we were so right. Over the last weekend we collected all our paperwork that was required as per the Thai’s embassy website and fully equipped we took an early morning metro into Delhi. We were happily surprised by this mode of transportation: a very modern train, departing every 5 minutes, getting into the city in about 40 minutes with no spitting since it is prohibited and gets fined in the station, which made us enjoy the ride even more, since for about one hour we didn’t hear any strange and disgusting noises. And even better, we wouldn’t have to look at their spitting. I am really not prudish, but I’ve never been so often so close to vomiting.
But I knew it already when we entered the clean and spit-free station that we would have to pay for it. Our joy didn’t even last one hour. We had to take a tuk tuk to get to the visa office and not even two minutes later at a traffic light, the door of a car in front of us opened, an Indian head sticks out and spits out a stream of two liters of pinkish orange liquid. And as if that wasn’t enough punishment for the spit-free station today, it continued as soon as we entered the visa office, a small, 35-degree warm waiting room with at least 100 people in there. We pulled our number and were hardly sitting when we heard a very familiar noise: loud burping. First I thought that must have happened by mistake but it continued for the next 10 minutes, very loud and long burps that even the other Indians looked at the guy with surprise. I’ve never ever heard such burping in my whole life. Johan and I looked very annoyed at this guy and stated very clearly how disgusted we were about him, but he only shrugged and said he couldn’t help it. I’ll soon wear my short trousers again!
To add to the above people don’t only spit and burp, they also pee whenever they have to pee. Men would stop on 6-lane highways for a pee, behind every bush you will find someone standing and peeing. Some don’t even have the time to hide, once they step out of their car they start opening the belt, unzip their trousers and can’t wait to relieve themselves. And I’ve seen women just sitting down and doing the same thing. Nobody seems to be ashamed, even if you are looking at them – coincidentally of course. On the other hand couples are not allowed to touch each other in public including holding hands let alone kissing, which I would find much more attractive to look at than peeing men and women (it also doesn’t stink). But that’s the beauty of learning new cultures.
If you by now think there are only filthy and strange people in India, don’t worry too much. We’ve met others as well, but they are less fun to write about. What I like very much is people offering their seats in the metro for the elderly, mothers with children or even for me (not sure if it is because I am Olga or considered an old woman :)). Then there is of course my new love, the food boy from the hospital, the many nice tuk tuk drivers who don’t try to screw us and just ask normal prices and drive us where we want to go to, the boys of our guesthouse, the vegetable sellers on the market with their children and the many others we meet on the streets, in our guesthouse or in the city.
With regards to our visas, by now we have our Vietnam visa and found out that we only need a visa upon arrival for Thailand, since we will not stay longer than 30 days at the beginning and can re-enter the country as often as we wish. But we are still very grateful for the wonderful experience in their offices.