jjackson, January 29th, 2015
For me, India was absolutely amazing. It was quite a shock when we first got there, just the sheer amount of people that were there could stun you. The culture was unforgettable. In India, you do not have personal space. It could be because of one of two things. First, there is no space to have. The streets are crowded and the “sidewalk” is broken if there is even one present. The other reason is that the culture does not believe in personal space. It was not a bad thing, nor a good thing, just another aspect that took some getting used to when traveling throughout the country. Another thing that was extremely different for me was the way that the Indians conduct business. There were numerous times when we traveled between Mysore, Bangalore, Agra, and New Delhi that people would come up to you as you were getting on the bus and hound you to buy something from them. In all honesty, there were quite a few times that made me stop and think. What they were offering would go for so much more over here yet they are offering it for 200 rupees which is relatively similar to two to three dollars in America. I did know that if for one second I hesitated and even glanced at what they were selling, and they noticed, you were not going to get rid of them. They would always start out very high, and would bargain down to about 90% of what they originally offered, and you wouldn’t have to say a thing! They would just do it! Another time where I was able to see how differently the business sector is run over in India is when we were in New Delhi and were able to walk to streets to get to this, what they call, “market”. This market was amazing! Of course, it was incredibly crowded, but there were, what seemed like, thousands of shops! You would think you were walking down this main street because of the copious amounts of stores and people that were visible, but then you would turn a corner or turn and walk down another street, and it seemed like yet another main street! There was the same amount of people and the same amount stores and shops! We did learn though that the particular place we were in was not for the typical person to buy. They were for people that were going to by a mass quantity of that item. So they would sell their products in bundles of hundreds. Obviously, that was not what the study abroad trip was looking for. Later though we were able to go to a different market where we were allowed to bargain! Bargaining is a huge thing here. I believe I bargained every chance I got. In the hotel, a soda would cost around 100 rupees. On the streets however, it would cost around 30 – 35 rupees. So, I would go to buy a soda and they would tell me that it was 35 rupees, and I would say I only have 25 rupees, and they would say okay. It didn’t matter what they said, they were always willing to drop the price. On occasion, the shop keepers would say that I was already getting something at a discount and that was the lowest they could go…until you walked out of the store. Then, all of a sudden, you get to name your price. The business in India are just absolutely amazing as well as the culture. All of it took a couple of days to get used to, and some things, I never got used to. All in all, it was a fantastic trip!
Categories: 2015 Trip