Hey there sexy lady, or gent. I know you are about that travel life since you are thinking about going to the spiritual land of India. A place known for peace and yoga ….but in actuality, India is a place that is going to test every part of you mentally, physically, and yes even spiritually. So here I am your humble tour guide to India.
Edit: This is probably the most important tip I can give you, and that is to take no shit, from anyone. If something feels slightly, wrong voice your opinions and if it gets worse, leave. If you feel uncomfortable say something or just leave. You do not owe anyone anything. Take no shit and give no shits. If something happens, because something will, do like Indians do, let it roll off your back. Obviously there are certain things that are important but you need to stay cool as a cucumber and just figure it out.
This is India 101 Part 1
- India is, in general, is more of a cash based society. The government has made huge strides to make India more credit card friendly. However, with this said, a lot of things will still be paid in cash. NOT TO WORRY! There are ATM’s everywhere. And I mean everywhere. FYI Punjab National bank does not accept my foreign card so it MAY not accept yours. I suggest getting a card that does not charge you for foreign transactions. Don’t let people take your cash monaay, $$ bills.
- Google Maps! See back in The States google maps was a very dear friend to me, like we would have sleep overs together. Now, in Delhi, she has turned against me, our current friendship status is Frienemies. If you use google maps to look where things are, while you are going to that place you need to be actively checking to make sure it is taking you on a route that makes sense. One time instead of taking me on the main road it took me through alley’s. And cars were not meant to go on those “roads”.
- You need to take your passport with you everywhere. The hotel and or hostel will scan it. Also if you are traveling with a local for example a Delhi-ite in Delhi of the opposite gender with their local ID, they will likely not be allowed to stay in that hotel with you because they are local and because you are not married. If it is someone with the same gender but they are still a local they still might not be able to stay with you. If you do not have a government ID YOU may not even be able to stay there. Call the hotel or hostel before if you are in this situation.
- India is a VERY seasonal country. When it is monsoon season in the south it could be the middle of summer somewhere else. So make sure you plan your travel ahead of time and according to the seasons. This is so IMPORTANT if you are traveling to multiple places.
- Your crossing the street game will, most likely, not be strong before you come here. However, by the time you are done traveling India, it will be. When crossing the street, cross with the aunties and the children, better yet aunties with children. Indian men crossing the street are fearless here, do not cross with them. Even if you are a dare devil. Just don’t.
- Street animals. There are dogs, and cats, and cows OH MY! Just running around the place. Some will be fine to pet. Some will not. Use your intuition. If you pet them make sure to wash your hands, they are very dirty. Overall, the animals won’t bother you. I haven’t seen any rogue cows or violent dogs here. In fact I have had more problems with house dogs in America than I have ever had in India.
- Transportation!!!! Delhi is a GIGANTIC city, 3 times bigger than the big apple. There are 22 million people here, this means there is a ton of public transportation. From Rickshaws, autos, uber, ola, buses and the metro system, there are a lot of ways to get around. A five minute auto ride can be around 20-40 rupees depending on how strenuous the trip is. You will be over charged as a foreigner, that is normal however do not let them take advantage of you. You do not have to pay anything extra, for example, gas money. You wouldn’t give a cab driver in America gas money so don’t do it here. You only pay for the cost of the ride NOTHING ELSE. I always set the price of the trip before I even get into the auto. If you are taking uber or ola take a screen shot of how much the fare is before the car even moves. I have personally had to deal with bad uber drivers trying to take more than what you agreed on so have evidence on your side! If they keep hassling you, just give them exact change and walk away or start crying and create a scene. You are foreign. People will come to help you.
Metros rails are really crowded during rush hour, so literally push your way in. Its normal to do so, however I am not saying become a football player and body check them off the metro. My friend had to do this once to keep me in the metro but that is a story for another time though. The metro is super easy to use and you can ask anyone for help on how to get places. I prefer to ask women, a group of girls, or guards. Most men are fine to ask but I just take that extra precaution. I always take the women’s coach in the metro. It is usually less crowded and safer. With this said avoid using the metro past 10 pm at night as a foreign woman alone. I have been advised this by a few of my Indian female friends.
You are already scrolled to the bottom of the page, I know what you’re thinking, WHAT!! THE POST CANT BE OVER! NOOOOOOO!
Well lucky for you, it is not. Click here to get post 2 for more of my India 101 tips and tricks!
Did I miss anything? Comment if you are coming here soon and tell me if this helped you!