Published: January 30th 2012January 30th 2012
This is our final entry from India. We've truly love being here but can both say that it has been somewhat of a fight. Some experiences have been enlightening and fun, and some of the quite opposite kind. But hey, we've just gotten ourselves a glimpse of this great country and are more than excited to discover more - some other place, some other time.
Our days in New Delhi have flown by enjoying the city from roof tops, various street food stands and auto ricksha's. During the day the climate is pleasant but after about 6.45pm it turns into any other fall evening in Northern Europe. We're staying at a nice guesthouse where the hot water is not really
working, but there is a small TV and a bed with a dry (not moist - thank god!) mattress for a fairly low price, so we are happy backpackers. We decided to do a what we thought was a GUIDED tour to see the several must-see sights in one day - and OH BOY did this turn out to be an interesting day. We were promised an English-speaking guide (the guy we booked the tour with insisted
several times on the quality of his guides) who would be able to answer our questions which might pop up along the way. Well, on Saturday morning, 9.30 am sharp, our driver picked us up... And a problem occured - because he could not understand a SINGLE word of what we were saying, and we could not understand a SINGLE word of what HE was saying (our Hindi skills are not that
good). After 1 hour of an extreme overusage of body language, we decided to call the manager. After a pretty loud discussion we were promised a NEW driver who would pick us up at the next monument. The new guide was also not really
what we had expected in terms of having great English-skills (the manager's words - not ours) but decided to accept it and move on with our day.
With the new driver we actually understood PLENTY of what he was saying: being an only child is bad, leaving your parents all alone when you leave them for your husband; women do not work, even if they decide to educate themselves, as soon as they get married they automatically become housewives; Europeans have no beliefs,
are selfish, don't like to spend time with their families and don't appreciate culture. Anger started to spread across our faces and in our minds - not because of his opinions (that's just his loss) - but because he did not want to listen when we actually wanted to tell him about how we see things, how our lives are build up. But no.
At the end of our day, we were not really satisfied with our tour, simply because it did not meet the expectations we had been promised, so we complained to the manager, yet again a loud and verbally violent discussion. We told him that we were not willing to pay the additional 600Rs (we had already pre-paid 1500 Rs when finalizing the booking) and that he should seriously consider his management and his handling of expectation-setting (as the TRUE business students as we are). Long story short, we ended up paying anyway, just because we did not want the money to be extracted from the driver's salary, which was already really low. But now you know - if you ever go to Delhi and want a guided tour - don't go for....!
last days have been nice and chill, walking around Chandni Chowk and Main Bazaar. Yesterday we went to the India Habitat Center to watch a documentary by Indian director Pramod Dev. He was there introducing 'One Cube', a 39 min documentary about the daily life of three Indian women (one in the BPO sector, one in a fishery and one in the garment sector) and how they are affected by globalization in a mansdominated world. After the screening there was time for questions and further discussion, to which only the three European women in the audience (Anna, Catharina and a Norwegian woman who is the regional ambassador for the UN) contributed. Even though there were other women in the audience, no one shared their thoughts which was sad since it would have been interesting to hear their opinions. Afterwards an Indian woman who studied philosophy came up to us, so we got to exchange some ideas with her. Sadly it seems that the government to some extent is trying to improve the situation for various groups within the Indian society but that the restraints towards change lies in the mindset of the people. Change does not happen over night, but
an event like this makes you really thankful for the extent of gender equality we experience in our world.
Now we're going to head back to our guesthouse, pack up our things and tomorrow early we're off to the airport and to our new destination INDONESIA.
We've uploaded some pictures from our stay in India - please enjoy and don't forget to comment!
We're out of here - this keyboard is driving one crazy.
There are more photos below