So I find myself at the end of day 11 in India. The location is Hyderabad in south India. I have arrived to work at the HQ for the Indian equivalent of the company I work for. It’s on average 32 degC in the day, mid-20s in the morning and evening. I came with an open mind, and already I am seeing that India is the physical embodiment of absolute pure chaos.¬†

The Good

Ok, so the food is properly delicious. I love spicy food, but the slightest whiff of chilli peppers, and I start sweating like crazy. That does not stop me! I have learnt that having a bowl of curd is a tasty and excellent way of helping deal with the spices when they get too much. That, and a packet of tissues.

There is also a good Uber network. I’ve never used Uber, and I am having to do so to travel to and from the office. It works out at under ¬£2 a trip, so less than ¬£4 a day to get to and from the office, which isn’t too shabby.

There are also some nice places to go to get away from the constant beep beep beep of the traffic – Shilparamam is a nice place (if you are not white and looking like a tourist, otherwise this would be in the bad)

A Hindu Temple at the entrance of Shilparamam

The Bad

Ok, the traffic is awful – everybody beeps, there is no use of lanes, and doing U-turns in the middle of the road is absolutely fine to do.

Aside from my work colleagues (and their families whom I have met), people are generally rude and disgusting – everyone stares at me as if I am walking around in an all-rubber gimp suit. Perhaps it’s because I am white, talk with no accent, so sound very, very English. They spit in the street, belch loudly, openly piss at the side of the road, and just have total contempt for anyone else other than themselves. Some of the Uber drivers do not speak English apart from ‘No change’ when I try to pay with a 500 rupee note for an 80 rupee journey, despite seeing a wad of notes.

I have also experienced a racist security guard at Shilparamam – due to my skin colour, he went through my bag and patted me down without my consent – something in the UK would be considered assault if you got anal about it. I watched how many people before me went through and he didn’t care, people after me, didn’t care. Silly little moustachioed rent-a-cop. Also, the traders at¬†Shilparamam are relentless at trying to suck money out of you, so if you are a pasty white tourist, stay away from the market area. I couldn’t get five minutes of peace.

The hotel I am staying in is nice, however, they don’t understand me, and I don’t understand them.

The Ugly

Ok, it’s India, so one word for it. Pollution.

In places there are piles of rubble in the middle of the road, some of the buildings are just rubble. The air is thick and the sky has a slight orange haze to it. The roads are dirty, there’s rubbish everywhere. I want to find a positive in all this, but I cant.

A common sight on side roads

The first day I was in India, I ended up having to walk through a stream of raw sewerage to get to my destination. It doesn’t really set the confidence bells ringing really.

The list of recommendations from the NHS were long, and I am adhering to them. No fresh fruit or veg, unless you peel it (pretty difficult to find where I am at the moment, so skipping fresh fruit and veg unless it’s from my work’s canteen), do not drink or clean your teeth with tap water. Honestly, cleaning my teeth with mineral water seems like a real waste, but I don’t want to have my gums become a bacterial ingress point.¬†

The Conclusion

Would I come and stay in India again?

Hell no.

If I had an excuse to get back home sooner, I would take it!

 

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