Arriving at Hotel Africa Avenue at 2:30 am in Delhi, India I was exhausted and already overwhelmed. Beginning with my nerves about taking this trip, all the way to our bus ride to the hotel, I have been an overly-anxious mess all the way.
Ashley’s pat down, Briana’s peanut butter confiscation and Rachel’s luggage being lost made the flights here (not to mention the TSA experiences) memorable. But nonetheless, we made it safe.
I have never been so thankful to see a bed in my life. The four hours of sleep that morning, although not fully satisfying, were refreshing and did revive me.
The first bit of culture shock we experienced was riding in the coach bus. The fact that they drive on the opposite side of the road was the smallest difference between our two driving styles. It seems that here there is no rhyme or reason to their roads. They don’t do single file lanes here and everyone is on the roads together (pedestrians, bikers, cars, buses, even dogs). There were many times thus far where I found myself watching out the window and holding my breath, afraid someone would be hit by our bus.
Another big difference I’ve seen is in the shopping experience. In American retail, we may ask if you want help and if you say no, you are left alone. Here, people are constantly touching you and hounding you and personal space is non existent. I have definitely found myself becoming more assertive so that they understand I am truly not interested.
Overall, the culture shock has been apparent, but fascinating. I look forward to seeing what other differences, as well as similarities, exist between us.