I know how can I still have more tips for you? Well India is a big crazy place so there is a lot to cover in this post as well.
Click here for part 1.
- Entertainment and photos. Do not always entertain people here. Some people will just come up to you and create a very awkward and forward conversation with you. Do not entertain them, just hold your hands together, the namaste sign, and say No, I can’t to you talk right now. Or just say no and walk away. If you are uncomfortable because of them just leave or walk away. You do not owe them a conversation. Sometimes they are being friendly and it is small talk, other times it is not. You will know the difference.
This man threw color on me then demanded a photo
Often people come up to me and ask to take photos with me. This happens mainly at tourist spots, however this happens to me a lot in regular public spaces as well. Or they will try to, not so subtly, take a selfie with you. If they do this you can say for example, excuse me, you may not take a photo of me, and act really upset. I also either turn around or if I am in a really bad mood, I will occasionally flip off the camera. I am not promoting that, but I wouldn’t blame you if you did so. If they ask, however, I usually will not take a photo with them. Why? Because if I do 1 just ONE photo with 1 person- everyone and I mean literally everyone will want a photo with you, and not just one photo, they will take multiple pictures in different poses! LOL! So the only time I will take photos is with big groups. This is the only time, because, to be honest, I am not going to waste 1 hour, 2 hours of my time on photos for them. And if they keep bothering you for a photo CHARGE them. Say no free photos, 100 rupees each. They will usually go away but if they don’t and they try to bargain with you say no discounts. Honestly if you are running low on cash this is a great way to make money. Lol #hustle4lyfe
Actually I had a friend who was a model and she was at the Taj Mahal and people kept asking her for photos and she charged all of them, she came out with more money than she went in with!
The last thing I have to say about photos is if you take individual photos you do not know what they will do with them. They might post them online and do who knows what with them. Most are just doing it for their own memories, however there are still those few. So be wise, be careful and use your instincts.
- Beggars and street children will beg 10x harder and more passionately to you over another Indian. Do not give them money. If you do, it not only makes it justify their actions and you will also be noted to other beggars and street children. If you want to give them something give them things like food or something small from a nearby stall, not milk or pens (this is part of a scam beause they will return to the store for money). Overall, do not give anything to them. In my 11 months here I have never given them anything. If they keep begging, you do the Namaste praying hand sign and say no. No is the only thing you need to say nothing else then you ignore them. My babysitter from when I was young, once came to India and she gave one, ONE, street child some money and then she was literally swarmed by children begging for money, so much so she could not physically get out of the mob. One of her male friends had to come get her. I have never seen this happen but as a fair warning don’t give them anything. And if you give anything to them it also makes you more prone to be pick pocketed.
- Remember kindergarten when we all had nap time? Now I never napped and I still don’t. But alas I live in India and I would like to mention, National Nap Time. This is 3-6:30 pm when a few shops will close so the workers and or the owner can go home and take a nap. So if you need something from a local shop just know it might be closed due to national nap time, but it will open later.
Living in India can be tiring and honestly naps are needed. And if you for some reason you are traveling to India in the summer ,this time is also the hottest time of day so you might as well get with the program and nap with the Indians.
- India is a very old country where culture and tradition is still rooted in its society. One of the lesser things talked about is Black Magic. Before you skip over this point hear (or read) me out 😉 . You will see chillis and limes hanging from shops to ward off the evil eye or black magic, but some of these random things you will see hanging around will actually be to curse you or to force bad energy upon you. You are traveling; you do not have the time nor the energy to get cursed. So DO NOT TOUCH THESE THINGS! You will know what objects I am talking about when you come here. I have heard to many stories of locals, especially in the mountains getting cursed. I’ll tell you the story of my cursed cab driver later. In the mountains, if you have long hair put your hair up at 7 pm because witches will see this like, oh their hair does not belong to them, they don’t care about them so let me curse them! Legit no joke, maybe I am superstitious but I am not going to mess around with that shit.
- On to a more light hearted subject, FOOD! Here it is perfectly acceptable to eat with your hands, even if you eat rice with your hands. I can’t figure out how to do it but I wouldn’t have known it was possible it I didn’t come here.
Luckily for you vegetarians it is so easy to eat here because the menu is always split into non veg (chicken or meat) and veg. And you can still get your protein intake because paneer is protein (it is made from spoiled milk but its really tasty and not bad for you)
- Last but most certainly not least is some other helpful blogs from me to you!
Have more tips? Please comment them below 🙂