This is a continuation of this post
How Is India?
So, how is India? If one more person asks me “How is India?” I will pull out my thumb nails! I still haven’t found the suitable answer to this question. It doesn’t get harder when you have to have a different answer for your friends, your mum and your boss . I get the impression that if they knew how large India is, they wouldn’t ask me that question. With a population of almost 2 Billion people and a being the 7th largest country in the world, India is definitely not a small place. I mean, I was there only for 7 days, the bulk of which I spent lusting over my gorgeous room in class.
What I saw was only a tip of the iceberg.
Therefore , I cannot tell you if Indians are friendly people. I can only tell you that the staff at our hotel were pleasant and helpful. So when we meet, don’t ask me depressing questions like the guy who asked me “How are their buildings structured? “ I swear, if I was an architect I would pay attention to such details. Instead,ask me questions like…”so what language do they speak, Hindu? “ Then I will tell you that Hindu is a religion, not a language. Hindi, on the other hand,is one of the National languages in India spoken by over 400 million people. Don’t ask me about their schooling system, ask me about Gurgaon , maybe, the city where our hotel was located.
Located 30 KM from the national capital New Delhi, Gurgaon is considered the best city in India to work and live in . Gurgaon has the 3rd highest per capita income in India. Even though it is not the main language here, English is widely spoken and understood. Big companies like Oracle , Airtel and Cocacola have some of their offices in this city. Also, Gurgaon is home to many luxurious hotels, for example Lemon Tree and Optus Sarovar Premiere. As in most cities in India, there are lots of tuk tuks , even just outside these posh hotels.
Kingdom Of Dreams
Now, you haven’t been to Gurgaon, if you have not visited Kingdom of dreams.It is like Kenya’s Maasai Market. Here, you will find lots of things depicting the Indian culture; artefacts and memoirs for sale, categorized by cities of origin.
My colleagues and I decided to pay the famed kingdom a visit one evening. Before being allowed in there we had to part with Rs.750 but given that that included dinner, so we didnt quite mind. Turns out the place is qute awesome. And if you look at this notice, you will see exactly who is not allowed into the Kigdom of Dreams : children below 42 inches. That cracked us up bigtime.
So in we went to explore the Kingdom…
I thought i would take this dancer a photo at close range..
Needless to say, we had a great time.
You get the impression that there are no traffic rules here. There is so much chaos on the road characterized by so much hooting. Not once did I hear our drivers curse, which means that they are used to this. Forget Kenyan Matatus, cars (mainly small Suzukis and Tatas…and did I mention the tuk tuks?) criss cross the many lanes all the time leaning on their horns. Drivers on Indian roads would give our notorious Kenyan matatu drivers a run for their money any day. And I don’t know where the posh cars are. We didn’t see those. Maybe they drive those in Delhi, I mean New Delhi.
It is unfortunate that I didn’t get to visit Bangalore, which is like the Silicon valley of India. But all in all I noted that people in India have embraced technology. Take like this little exhibition we went shopping. They even have a website.
Most businesses here have a website and are trying their hand at E-Commerce.
Somehow Kenyan Airtel simcards and India Airtel did not seem to communicate and the much hyped Safaricom roaming service did not come through for us (my Kenyan colleagues and I). To buy a Simcard you have to have copies of our passports and a passport size photograph ….for their file.
Many hotels here offer vegetarian diets. However there is a wide range of meats. Notably missing is cows meat. No one is going to kill a cow so you can enjoy your Nyama choma because here, they worship cows. Literally!
In November it is ‘winter’ in India, so the temperatures were around 16 to 20 degrees. The weather was coldish, the kind of weather you’d find in Limuru during the warmer times. But for one day, we never saw the sun for those seven days my colleagues and I were there. They told us that the weather is like that because of pollution.
How sad it is that I didn’t get a Sari from India! All the shops we went to wanted to tailor-make one for me. Now, I don’t like tailors. And that’s an understatement. I got to buy a few outfits for my family and I, even though they were quite expensive (like shouldn’t they be much cheaper in India than anywhere else?) I got myself this red top with bluish patterns and a matching bottom (for lack of a better word; It’s kinda like tights). I couldn’t wait to ask hubby the million dollar question…”Honey, does my bum look big in this?”
Currency and Taxes
Tax, tax, tax tax. You name it and they’ve got a tax for it in India! Their tax man leaves no stone unturned. Their currency is Indian Rupees prefixed as INR or Rs.
Perhaps this is the most interesting photo from my Indian album. I was supposed to smile, not close my eyes. *SMH*
Back to the question. How was India? For me India was an awesome experience. I am still getting reconciled to the fact that I added some weight, Oh yes I have. 2.5 KG , can you believe that?! Neither can I but it’s true. I know because I weighed myself…at the hotel, see for all their finger licking food and endless calorie-packed snacks, they had thoughtfully placed a weighing machine in the room..so you don’t sue them i guess. Oh, plus my complexion. Am told I look a little lighter. .
I was taken aback when my chatty almost-six year old daughter who has taken to calling me “Ma” (thanks to watching too much Lion King) told me..
“Ma, be going to India all the time.”
“Be going to India.”
“Because there are nice things in India. You will keep bringing us nice things..”
“But won’t you miss me?”
“No. You are not going to stay there. Just bring us nice things then you come back…”
I didn’t know what else to say. Clearly all the Skype video calls kind of made up for my absence. Little miss is ready to let me go to India again.
The truth is that I hadn’t gone to India on holiday. It was business. And that means that I have to account of my stay there. I have to give a detailed answer to “How was India?” Heck I have to write a report about it! Meanwhile I will try to remain calm when asked “How was india?” I will say …”it was awesome.” And you, my blog reader now have an Idea why.