A traditional temple in Varanasi, India

Observations From Northern India

  • All Indian trains have a ladies only car that even the male companion can’t get into.
  • Many ticket windows also have a ladies only line.
  • A sweeper at the Taj Mahal in Agra, IndiaThere are 3 brands of bottled water that contain more than 100x the EU acceptable levels of pesticide. We avoid them at all costs.
  • We encounter reverse racism daily as people are always trying to see how much money they can fleece away from the white people. This was even confirmed when I was haggling for the fair price for a cab and was told the reason we were being charged extra was “There’s locals in the cab. You have money. You can pay more.” We have to be on our toes at all times, which gets old fast.
  • When my camera charger broke I searched high and low in 4 different towns for a new one. No one had them or they were charging more than double the USA price. I finally got a new one in Bombay, where there was a two block area  with nothing but chargers and camera supplies. If only I had known I could have just waited.
  • There are metal detectors outside of all buildings, train stations, etc, but most of them are not even guarded and usually have open spaces on either side that you can just walk through instead. On the rare occasion that they are guarded, you can usually go through, hear the beep of blatant metal, and just keep walking. This is true for locals as well as us.
  • When buying a lock to carry with us we saw a Hitler brand lock.
  • Nearly all tourist stops have different prices for tourists and locals. This is usually the equivalent of $5 per person for us and $0.20 for them. I completely understand why, but can you imagine if you tried to do something like that in the USA? The Taj Mahal is one of the worst offenders, charging locals 40 rupees and tourists 1,000.