India: Immediate First Impressions

I landed in Hyderabad India just a few short hours ago and here are some of the things that immediately stood out:

  • Everyone here is super nice — I knew that coming into this trip, but I figured it was worth calling out. 
  • Immediately stepping out from the airport, the air felt warm and tropical, but there was a scent in the air that smelled as though something was burning — more like incense than anything particularly unpleasant.
  • They drive on the left side of the road — I should’ve guessed knowing that they were colonized by the Brits — but who knew?!
  • The cars are tiny (like most of the rest of the world) but the trucks are HUGE! The cabs of the trucks remind me of a NYC Garbage Truck, much taller and wider than Tractor Trailers in the US with huge glass windows and no doors.
  • Speaking of trucks, many of them have colored lights on the side of them — including a few that looked like they had Christmas lights on the side.
  • I had been warned that people drive crazy, but I didn’t quite know what that meant. Essentially, people will drift in and out of lanes and they generally honk when they’re passing because they want the person to not drift into their lane. I haven’t seen any elephants on the road yet, though.
  • As strange as this might sound, the commercial area I passed reminded me a lot of burning man. Everyone on motor bikes (rather than bicycles), people clustered together riding in groups and sitting on the back, people walking in the middle of the road, tiny little cars that I’d consider mutant vehicles, against a desert-like backdrop where many of the stores are light up with christmas lights and other glowing things to catch your attention. It’s reminiscent of Black Rock City without the booming techno soundtrack.
  • Security was really tight at my hotel. They searched the car for bombs and then upon entering the hotel I had to go through a metal detector and my bags were x-rayed. The hotel is gorgeous, though.
  • The gentleman at the front desk brought my luggage up to my room and he walked inside with me and insisted that I sit down at the desk while he told me all about the hotel and its amenities for 5 minutes. I felt slightly uncomfortable.

I’ve only been here a few hours and it’s already been an interesting trip. I’m not quite sure what to do with myself now though — I’m not exactly sleepy, but I’m exhausted from travelling… Oh well. That’s Jet Lag for ya.

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