India, India, India… I tried so hard to like India, a country with so much history and delicious food. But I have to say, India is just not worth the hassle.
I went to India to see the Taj Mahal and that was great. I met a few nice people and had yummy curry. Those were the good parts of India and together they only took a few hours. The rest of my trip consisted of walking along dirty streets, standing in train stations with rats scurrying all over the place, being swarmed by beggars, getting overcharged by 400% and having everyone try to sell me their rubbish stuff.
I understand they are poor and they need to make a living but I was there for a holiday and not to be badgered 24/7.
More than just trying to rip you off when selling you things, people in India also run scams on tourists. There is one scam I heard about that I have always remembered because it so ludicrous and gross. This scam needs two accomplices, basically you are just walking along the street and one of the scammers will throw crap on your shoes. I know, what kind of country is this? That scammer will then run off and his accomplice (you don’t know they are in on it together) will come up to you and clean your shoes for you. Once he’s finished cleaning he will then ask for money for cleaning your shoes. That’s right. They throw crap on you and charge you for it.
I heard of that scam whilst staying in New Delhi, safe to say when I went outside the next day I wore dodgy shoes and stared down every person who walked past me looking for any sign they were about to throw something at me.
Getting to the airport in New Delhi and knowing I would be leaving, going somewhere clean, was a huge relief for me.
I’m not saying there aren’t good parts of India because there are places worth seeing. just if you’re going to India prepare yourself. I know there were things I saw that have changed the way I look at life, that I will never forget. First on that list is the image I have in my mind of a beggar who had had his legs cut off. He was dragging is body along the ground at the train station, begging for money. After seeing that, there is no way I can complain about my life at home in Australia.
Just keep in mind that India isn’t an ordinary holiday.