When my friend Manu asked me to write something on my experience in India, I was at a loss. The experience which lasts on a span of almost two months was too rich and versatile to be summed up in any way. Having the aforementioned in consideration, here’s my very modest attempt at summing up a two-month stay in Gurgaon for an Egyptian girl experience
- It’s crowded, like really crowded. If by chance you walked into a place and found it mildly empty, don’t be quick to rejoice, because people will come storming from anywhere at any moment now. This happened with me whenever I say to myself, here’s a quiet café or this midnight cinema theatre is so peaceful.
- Traffic is CRAZY. The first two days, I was at hair-width close to screaming for my life on many occasions of close encounters and manoeuvres by drivers.
- The food is too spicy and heavy for the Mediterranean people’s taste buds. But the funny thing is, after some time having no option but having to eat spicy, crying it out, your taste buds will eventually crave for it and refuse any meal that is not “spicy enough”.
- The currency difference is an awesome advantage. You will enjoy your Starbucks coffee, pass by Marks & Spencer to grab the new arrivals, get some groceries on your way home and spend so little in comparison. On another note, this is so tricky, as you end up over-doing it and the currency difference is no longer in your favor.
- The sense of nationalism for Indians is so impressive. People do love their India and take it seriously. You can easily find tiny flags of India everywhere and they even “lovingly” sing the national anthem in the movie theatre. Indians who are successful in whatever they are doing abroad decide to go back and build their businesses in their homeland and it is really impressive how these guys love their country so much.
- Yes, cows move around freely. No, they are not particularly worshipped, but very respected and left at peace.
- Paneer is not a spreading cheese
- Momos and samosas are heavenly and a must try. “Golgappas” are such a delight also, and make sure to have a local guide you through the method of eating it.
- Indians are very kind and they like to offer help whenever they can. (They won’t if they know they can’t)
- People are workaholics, they basically live and breathe work. It’s like everyone is venturing on their own businesses. Entrepreneurship is a prevailing way of thinking. It’s very common to work late or during weekends. This makes life stressful, however rewarding at the end considering the amount of experience you get. Businesses are small, but rapidly growing where you feel your input makes a difference.
- Being a single lady there is not very welcome, I think. It is also common to have your kindness and politeness towards men misunderstood for flirting!
- Communication is vital! Working in the quality assessment department with the support team, I had to make sure that clients’ requirements are met, and that necessitated immediate communication with the team. This team is a garden-variety. In a small office, we had like 12 people each from a different part of India or even a nearby country, with their different religion and language and physical features. I really felt that I was part of a team that helps and cares for one another just like a family. This did wonders to my communication skills. A journey to India is an educational experience in itself.
- I haven’t personally seen much of the glorious architecture of India, but the places I visited were of unprecedented beauty.
- We, in the middle-east, grew up loving Bollywood. India to us is full of singing, dancing and dreamy-romantic sexy men. Real-life is not so, unfortunately.
In the end, This was the most enriching experience I’ve been through so far. Bitter-sweet as it was, I feel like I crave more of India. This country keeps lures you back with all the untapped potentials, the FOMO and the endless might-have-been there are.
Till we meet again, much love and respect.