Everything that I have heard or read about India and much more has proven to be true. The most striking aspect of India that I saw was its poverty. During our bus tour of Delhi, we saw stray dogs, people urinating in the streets, and even a corpse being carried down the road. I can't even imagine living this reality everyday. We drove by a block of slums that supposedly 100,000 people inhabited. There was no definition of housing with narrow alleys protruding from crumbling structures. Homelessness was very apparent as several public areas were covered in tents.
Driving proved to be quite interesting. Lane lines are guidelines that are rarely followed as buses, cars, rickshaws, and people weave in and out of the streets. I was first shocked by the incredible use of horns, but soon realized that people use them much more freely here to simply inform other drivers that they are there.
I have had the pleasure of interacting with several Indian people. They are very kind and courteous. They are always offering more food or beverages and are very generous. They are just as interested in us as are in them. Several people asked to take pictures with us. Even when I was walking around by myself looking at ruins, a few people were following me with cameras. Even on the street people stared at us.
I was a little weary about how I would like the food here but I have really enjoyed it! I have stepped out of my comfort zone and tried something I normally wouldn't have. I have been eating a lot of chicken and sampling several types of curry and love fresh nan. I haven't drank anything that hasn't been bottled just incase my body would react poorly.
In conclusion, my first culture shock has been quite intense. It is hard for me to accept the realities that people live their lives in these environments everyday. If anything, my experiences have definitely appreciate how blessed I am back home.