BRIC: Namaste India!
By Venkatarun Rao and Jennifer Huynh
The BRIC program arrived in India on October 24th for the final leg of our semester. Whether it was the change in weather from a snowy Moscow to hot and humid Delhi or the change in the palate, members of the group came down with illnesses. For students coming to India, we would advise that although they may be tempted by the range of food dishes available, they need to be aware that often vendors and restaurants use tap water for assortment of purposes. If you execute smart judgment, you can find restaurants that can satisfy everyone in the group which, are sanitary and have great value. For those who like to shop, Delhi offers something for everyone; from the best western brands in fancy malls to local clothing in street bazaars. When you’re on the roads in Delhi, expect to encounter cows and buffaloes which mingle with traffic as they go about their business; as we begin our week in Jaipur, we’ve already seen far more animals than we have in Delhi. We’ve seen camels, elephants, cows and goats.
In addition to animals, you should expect a lot of traffic and people; traffic will consist of vehicles moving with inches between each vehicle and if you’re walking expect to have people constantly pushing past you. We thought the Shanghai and Moscow metros were crowded but after our experience in the Delhi metro, they seem vacant. In Delhi, people jostle into the metro when the doors are closing and personal space is non-existent; for women, we would suggest using the last two cars in the metro as they are reserved for women exclusively.
Currently, we are in Jaipur and we are learning to embrace ambiguity; from non-existent Wi-Fi speeds to a limited number of users on the network and from sharing rooms with three other people to not having hot water. We’ve been together for over two months and the bonds we’ve built has made enduring any hardships easier and has made all enjoyment far merrier.