Impressions of India – On the road
Me and my wife rented a car and get a local driver on a 10 days road journey at Rajasthan. Well, it was somekind of experience and journey.
I quickly found out that India people can stand very hot weather. Many people are wearing sweater, jacket while the temperature is 20+ Celsius. Most tourists are wearing T-shirt and shorts. While we are in the car, our driver still wears several layers and yet he said is cold, so want to turn of the aircond. I also notice 9 out of 10 car have their windows down and prefer to brieve dusty air. If I turn on the lowest level of air-conditioning (fan at level 1), our poor driver started to have running nose.
In order to reduce the risk of our driver getting sick and affecting us and our entire journey, we decide to compensate. For the rest of the few thousands KM, we turn ON and OFF the air-conditioning every 5 minutes. That was crazy. At the end of 3rd day, with hot sun cooking my face (later I learn to cover the windows with a cloth) for few hours a day, I started to fall sick due to the extreme temperature change and long exposure to sunlight.
(2) Bumpy ride
Most of the primary roads are in very bad (not poor, but bad) situation. Our every speed is 50km/hr, so a typical 250KM journey in Malaysia will take 2 hours, but in India, that will take 5 hours. Bad road surface force the car to drive at 20KM to preserve the suspension springs, and in town, the other traffic, people and animals will half the car to a near stand still. So if you are planning your road trip, budget 50km/hr, especially on the way to airport. I discovered that we are expected to check-in 4 hours before our flight. I could totally understand and appreciate why after actually being on the road.
(3) Focus on the good stuff
Many people said that visitor either loves or hates their experience in India. Two extremes and nothing in between. It is kind of true. A kinder way to express it is that – there are always ‘shit’ things that come with the diamond. That’s is India. One has to learn how to focus on the goods instead of the bads to make the trip enjoyable.
Give you an example, I took many pictures of animal and human feaces, and step on some of them, and seeing many people peeign in public, yet there are plenty of beautiful scenario and smiley faces that make you forget about the bad experiences. In big city, one still can find decent toilet like this by the roadside. In other areas, you can do wherever you like to do, toilet does not exist.
So the art is to focus on the goods…. focus…..
Luckily, there are hundreds and hundreds of KM of Indian mustard field, filled with yellow flowers swaying in the air.
Trashes are still acceptable, better than the view of floating human remains on the river.
Again, focus on the good stuff … focus…
May the force be with me. Focus on the good view. Ah Hah!!! There was an inpiration to use the built in art filter in my Olympus camera. So instead of shooting picture at natural mode, I started to use Dragmatic and other art filters to distort the truth.
There are plenty of rail road crossing. This elderly man is jumping onto the moving train at one of rail road crossing.
Then, everything become very interesting. Even in dangerous situation like this, the 3 vehicles are 20 feets from our moving vehicles, which lane shall we take? It takes skills and guts to drive in India.
and then, miracle happens. I brought rain to the Sun City (Jodhpur). It was desert town on dry season, so getting desert storm is a rare experience. Thank you India!
The storm brought the ecitement to our Haveli hotel (the thunderstorm started 2 seconds after we stepped into the hotel). Here is the view of Mehrangerh Fort – Jodhpur from our hotel after the rain stops in 30 minutes. So focus on the goods indeed brings us luck.
and just merely few minutes later, here was the view. The golden light revealed the Blue City in front of our eyes right before sunset.