As a tourist from America you are sure to find many habits that are peculiar to Indians – like greeting with ‘Namaste’, nodding of head to indicate consent, and eating on banana leaves during special ll occasions.
You may or may not pick up one of these quintessential habits, but you will surely lose few of your American habits
Using toilet paper – You have to brace yourself for this. Most places in India will not have toilet paper in the wash room. A bucket of water, a mug, and soap are the standard. Good hotels do have them but don’t expect public toilets to have toilet paper. The solution? Carry your own.
Getting things done on time – If you are one of those who wants instant solutions to all your problems, then India may not be the best of places for you. In this country, everything will work at its own sweet pace. You must learn to wait, sometimes for hours. You will eventually learn to cultivate the virtue of patience.
Being afraid of flaunting fluorescent colors – If you were one of those apprehensive of wearing bright colors for the fear of being labelled ‘gaudy’, shed all inhibitions and bring out your brightest hues. Bright colors rule In India – parrot green, shocking pink, maroon, and peacock blue – here, there’s no place for the dull and drab. Different ethic prints and the materials used in them are always a blend of vibrant colors. The brighter your ensemble, the better you will blend in. It is very likely you will end up filling your boxes with designer Kurtis, Salwar kameez, duppatas with sparkling stones, and Kashmiri silk stoles on your trip home.
Assuming ground level is the first floor – First floor is the level above the ground.
Making general assumptions about India – India is one gigantic melting cauldron of people of all types, languages, customs, traditions, dressing styles, and tastes clubbed together. Each state is different, each union territory is different. Even within the state each district (like county) is unique. If is language is spoken all over a state, it still has multiple dialects. You will soon realize that each part of India is different just as it is unique.
Getting shocked by intrusive queries – You have to get used to being stared at and getting photographed with total strangers. Also be ready to answer or dodge invasive questions such as ‘Are you married?’, ‘How much do you earn?’, or even ‘Don’t you have to work?’ They are mostly asked innocently and with curiosity but it is better to be prepared for them.
Using spoons and forks – Most Indians eat with their hand, right hand to be precise. Some of their food is best eaten this way. Hotels and restaurants do provide you with the requisite cutlery but try eating a Dosa (Indian version of a crepe, made with rice flour and lentils) with a knife and fork and you will know how arduous the task is. Hands, hands down!
Expect cars to give pedestrians the right-of-way – If you are at the pedestrian crossing on a busy road and wait for the speeding vehicles to stop and give you the right-of-way (because it is the right thing to do), you can wait there forever. Vehicles don’t ever stop.
Expect fixed price – Bargaining is a birthright when it comes to shopping in India. Whether it is a retail shop in a mall or a road-side shop, haggling will help reduce the price significantly. There is no such thing as fixed price. Furthermore, shops seem to be on ‘Discount Sale’ all the time.
Going in search of historical monuments – India is steeped in history and there is no need to go hunting for a historical site. Monuments, architecture, and artifacts are everywhere. For history buffs, India is like a treasure trove.
Hope you found this article informative! Do check out “Foods You Should Carry In Your Backpack When Hiking In India”