The Experience: The flight was confusing. Two red-eye flights to India back-to-back. I didn’t know if I should’ve been watching more movies or sleeping to fight the jet lag. My first flight was from San Francisco to Istanbul and the second from Istanbul to Mumbai. Turkish Airlines is pretty good. Their food was not bad and they had a ton of great movies. But when I arrived in India it felt like I had just walked into a sauna. The weather is very different. The air is very humid, warm, and there is a high chance of a monsoon.
I was actually very impressed with the airport. Everything was modern and the bathrooms were impressive and clean. Driving from the airport was crazy… First of all the driver sits on the right. Everything is opposite from the US. You would drive on the left side of the road instead of the right. But the craziest part is that I am not sure if most people are not following laws or that there are not enough laws. You don’t need to wear your seatbelt if you are not driving. There are no “lanes”. Pedestrians can walk anywhere on the street. What’s really funny is that it is actually very impressive. The presence of mind that a driver needs to have on the road is 10x more than a driver in the US. In spite of the freedom on the streets, there are not a lot of accidents on the road. Almost every road is super loud and obnoxious with honking.
Take-back: Aside from the poverty, trash, and pollution, everyone here has an awesome lifestyle. There are some interesting qualities that we need to learn from these people. Something that I began to appreciate is the freedom that everyone has. For example, the friends that kids make playing on the street. Everyone “knows” each other and are easily socially accepted. There are many people here that don’t have as many luxuries and things as some people in the US but they are way more happy.
Lesson of the Day: Look at Indian people’s lifestyles from a different perspective.