Essays

Country of pure hearts

Most busses in India are painted in different colours – and heavy loaded.

The fear is a part of it. Everyone feels scared if he travels to India for the first time. Among backpackers, India is deemed to be one of the toughest countries in the world to travel in. «You will love it or you will hate it», they prophecy you, and you feel excited and scared at the same time. The people who hate India do it all because of the same reason: India is full of people. It’s a hustle and bustle on the streets, and every shopkeeper is trying to make some more Rupiees of western tourists. One is for sure: In India, you will find yourself regularly in the middle of a crowd assuring that you really don’t want to buy something. In India, you are never alone.

Indian people are what western would call pushy, but they are also open minded and it’s easy to get in contact with locals. Indian people are curious about you and the country you come from. They invite you for chai, the delicious Indian tea, and tell you about their family or their religion.

Since decades, India is top destination for fun-loving backpacker tourists. That’s the reason why there exist some strong company feelings among backpackers. It helps to find others to share these strange feelings in a strange new world and do the first steps together in a completely different culture. Simple things like buying a train ticket can be endlessly complicated in India and there is also another important lesson to learn: In India, everything takes time. A good advise for planning the itinerary is therefore: If you only have a limited amount of time in India, don’t plant to see too much. Most likely, you won’t see it all.

Plans are always changing

Travelling in India is hard, and plans are always changing. Most of the people I met don’t follow their route they originally made. In India, you never know what you get and probably, that makes India a perfect backpacker country. However, you don’t have to be a hippie, a globetrotter or a mystic to bring the optimal premises for a trip to India.
The only thing you should bring with you is an unprejudiced and curios attitude towards other human beings. India is so flashy, surprisingly, multifaceted and contradictory like only real life can be. And the best: Indians are «pure by heart». You only have to smile at them and they beam with joy all over the face.

2007

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