Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Incredible India!

Hello from Mumbai! For those of you who don't know, I am going to be in India for the next month with my grad program and then staying for another week and traveling to Nepal with my sister and my parents :). Quite the adventure, huh?

As part of the program, one of our assignments is to keep a blog reflecting on what we see, feel, hear, think, etc. and relating that back to some readings that we did prior to traveling here. I know none of you will have read these books, but bare with me!! I decided to do my posts on the PM and not start a new blog due to the sheer fascination I have for this country. I figured since a lot of people who read this blog like to travel, this would be a great way for you to hear some stories and see some pictures....sorry for the rant, just wanted to explain why these blog posts are going to be longer than normal!

We traveled for close to 36 hours to get here...it was ridiculously long. Dallas to Frankfurt, Frankfurt to Delhi, Delhi to Mumbai, all with pretty freaking long layovers. When we finally got to Mumbai, it was quite the eye opener. I had my preconceived notions of what India would be like, but this was so much more than I ever expected. The streets are full of cars, taxis, bikes, motorcycles, buses, pedestrians, cows, goats, dogs....you name it, India's got it. The amount of people....seriously the number of people walking through the city is absolutely INSANE. There were so many things that were SO different than anything I had ever seen that I didn't even know what to think (one of the main things being the Slums, but I am going to save that for another day).

The amount of stares we get is also pretty incredible. I'm sure it doesn't help that we walk around in a group of nine all with huge cameras trying to take pictures of everything we see (the blonde hair really doesn't help much). It's funny though because I think the only reason they stare is because they are somewhat fascinated with us. We have this little bus that we ride around in from place to place and the people on the streets literally stop and stare through the window until the bus is out of sight. Little kids walking home from school will wave and follow the bus with huge smiles on their faces. It's adorable. One of the girls here was joking around and said they probably think that I'm Hannah Montana (that's a compliment). Although the number of tourists coming to India has increased dramatically over the years, you still do not see very many Americans walking around the city (or at least I haven't yet)...and I'm guessing that's why we get the stares.  At the same time I think that's what makes me love this place even more. I love the United States (I get chills when I hear the national anthem, see any person in uniform, or start talking about the Olympics for goodness sakes), but being emerged in a country so strikingly different has made me think so much more about how we live. One of the readings we did before this trip was a book talking about an advertising campaign that was put in place in order to "brand" India as a country. The campaign was called "Incredible India!" and focused on the diversity of the country and how it really is so incredible. That's the only word to describe it. Amitabh Kant, mastermind behind this campaign, said that India may, at some times be overwhelming, but always incredible and I couldn't have said it better myself.

As I was saying earlier, from the traffic, to the city structure, to the amount of people living here and the diversity amoung them, it really is a city (and country) of contrasts. These contrasts are what make the country so fascinating. I wish there were a better way to describe everything I've seen but for now a few pictures will have to do! The next posts will be more specific, but I just wanted to give y'all a little update on everything I've been experiencing so far.



  1. great post! i can't wait to see more of these. bill gates was talking about India in a recent interview and how it will one day in the not so distant future be an economic powerhouse. have a great, safe trip and document everything!

    side note: when my dad was in thailand during vietnam he said many of the people had never seen anyone with blue eyes and blonde hair. they would touch him and fall on the ground like he was some kind of magical deity!

  2. I love it Weezie!!! I cannot wait to hear more about all of your travels!