India: First Impressions
She's hot, she's noisy, she's delicious - she's MOTHER INDIA, BABY!
We arrived in India yesterday morning and we're currently staying in Kochi, which is a town right by the ocean in the very south of South India. Apparently Kochi is considerably more laid back than the rest of India, so as India-newbies we thought we'd ease ourselves into our trip and start here.
To sum it up:
- People are really nice.
- Stuff is super cheap. Like uuuuuber cheap.
- Food is flippin' fantastic and it's a lot easier and safer to eat than I thought
- It's not overwhelmingly touristy.
- We are very fortunate.
1. People are really nice.
It's only been two days, but all the people we've met have been absolutely lovely and no-one has tried to rip us off. Yet. The bus attendant (he rides the bus, sells the tickets but isn't the driver - think Stan Shunpike on the Knight Bus in Harry Potter - if you don't know who that is, please leave. Kidding. But also not.) ANYWAY, the bus attendant kindly went out of his way to make sure we got off at the right spot, asking to see a map so he could help us, and gave us directions on how to get to our Homestay. What a sweetie.
Random people will just say hi to you on the street and 'good morning friend!', which is just so lovely and forms this instant and very-human connection.
2. Stuff is really cheap
So it's basically been two full days in India and we've spent exactly 2780 rupees including tips, between the TWO OF US (but not including accomodation). Still, that's less than $30AUD each, including airport transfers, food, drinks, and tuk tuks/auto-rickshaws (taxis-bike thingos). We're not even holding back or anything - we've been out for food 3 times, ordered drinks with all our meals, stopped for street food, caught like 8 tuk tuk rides, bought a really fancy notebook, stopped for a fancy drinks break during the heat of the day and more.
3. FOOD IS DELICIOUS - easier to eat out than I thought
Especially around Fort Kochi, everywhere seems to have pretty good standards of food/water because there are quite a lot of tourists around. Also, maybe it's because we're vegan that we feel like the food is fine? I don't really know why it feels so safe, but I do know we expected to have more trouble finding food we could eat. Of course, we're not ordering salad or any raw fruit or veg that we can't peel, but we've been reassured by lots of signs and staff that water and ice is fine to drink, and people just given us bottled water so it's been really good re: accessibility to clean food and drink.
The DELICIOUSNESS FACTOR is so real. South Indian Food is so flavourful, relatively low in oil and light on the tum, which we are loving. Food from our homestay is so divine and fresh, and UH I can never articulate myself properly when it comes to food because I just get way too excited. SO BASICALLY, the food is fantastic and you can check out the entire log of stuff we've eaten so far HERE.
4. It's not overwhelmingly touristy.
I really like the fact that India (well, at least Kochi), is not that touristy. What I mean by that is that the people here are just going about there daily lives - no one is really living so desperately just to serve tourists, and tourism hasn't drowned out the culture to the degree that say, it has in Bali.
5. We are very fortunate.
Being here, I am again reminded of how fortunate we are to live where we do, and have the lives that we have. I am so grateful to be here, for this opportunity and to experience this wonderful country from a very fortunate position. It is inspiring to see human beings from all walks of life work so hard, be so kind and help so earnestly. To be able to make these observations and record and share these 'first impressions' with you is a wonderful and cherished privilege.
Stay tuned for more! xxx