…. well yes there is more. My whirlwind tour of Rajasthan and the Punjab saw me visiting a few cities and experiencing some cultural nuances.
India has several treats to unload on the unsuspecting traveller, and here are just some of the interesting features I stumbled across:
- Picking your nose on public transport is a national hobby. There is no age or gender bias when it comes to having a good
old finger poke around your nostrils in a confined train compartment.
- Spotting someone wearing jodhpurs in Jodhpur can’t help but make you smile. Result!
- There are possible more flies here than every other place I’ve been added together. I had my own personal swarm wherever I went.
- The bizarre brilliant orange henna hair colour is a favourite with the older generation. The trick, so it seems, is to apply the dye really badly so it doesn’t fully cover your natural tresses. And for those braver types also dye your beard in the same haphazard way.
- Note however prepared you are, seeing the Taj Mahal takes your breath away. It has to be the most iconic building in the world and being up close and personal is amazing. If it’s not on your bucket list add it. Go on, do it now!
- The closing ceremony at the India Pakistan border is a must. It was a highlight with Bollywood dancing, a compere buoying up the crowd and some seriously funny marching with dangerous high kicks thrown in. There also appeared to be a competition between the two countries leading guards as to who could say “goal” for the longest time possible without taking a breath. OK so it probably wasn’t the word “goal” but it was reminiscent of south American football commentators. But seriously if this is the border ceremony I would love to see a cricket match between these two nations!
- Amritsar was the jewel in the crown, an unexpected pleasure. The serenity of the Golden Temple and the welcoming of the Sikh religion was heartfelt.
- Top tip, Delhi is definitely worth a visit just don’t make it your first destination. Nearly everyone I met who’d arrived there fresh to India was a victim to scam merchants, hawkers and tuk-tuk drivers who can spot new arrivals, and a financial opportunity, from a mile off. You have been warned!
- Top tip number two, gen up on cricket facts before you go. In this country it’s a national obsession, and everything stops when a big game is on. Knowing anything about this sport goes a long way towards making friends.