Since today was unfortunately not another festival day, it was back to work for us! We got up, ate breakfast at the hotel, and took cabs to our respective internships all before 9am. The remainder of everyone’s day was filled with talking with our bosses, IT market research, flow charts, accounting, or interviews with dance studio owners. As interesting as these might be, I thought that since we have now been in India about a week it might be about time to share some of the interesting things we have learned or observed about the Indian way of life that are very different from home!
Rules of the Road: Riding in a car is an experience in and of itself here in India. Cars do not follow the lanes at all, but rather swerve in and out, honking excessively. In India, people do not use their mirrors or turn their heads to see what is around them, instead the person to the side or the back honks to make their presence known. This results in a lot of noise on the roads! Once we realized this difference in the usage of horns, there became a little more order in the midst of what seemed like chaos. Surprisingly there are not too many accidents that occur, although we have had small collisions with a motorcycle or two!
Another challenge on the roads is crossing them. In America most people cross at the crosswalk, while in India most people cross in the middle of the road regardless of how much traffic there is! This is a skill we are slowly acquiring! (Don’t worry parents; we are staying in groups and still crossing at sidewalks when possible.) When we told one of our cab drivers about this he informed us that on the rare occurrence someone does cross at the crosswalk, it is called a “Zebra Crossing” because of the black and white lines painted on the roads at the crossing.
Bobbling Heads: Something unique to Hyderabad is the head motion that many of its residents seem to have. If you can imagine a bobble head- that is pretty much exactly what it is. We have affectionately dubbed it the Hydera-bob. This can, however, lead to some confusion, especially when asking questions. Due to the language difference and accents it is sometimes hard to understand even a “yes” or “no”, which is further confusing when their head might be going a different direction altogether!
Excessive Service: This may seem like a dream come true, and in some ways it is! Since coming to India, we have not needed to pull out our chairs to sit down, open a door, retrieve our toast from the toaster, make our coffee, serve our own pizza, pour our own water, or even press our own elevator buttons. There seems to be at least a 3:1 ratio of server to customer. Quite the opposite back home! As we leave breakfast each morning, the staff will all line up to say thank you and wish us a good day! The staff at our hotel and at restaurants see to our every need and jump right in to help if we even reach for something. We might be getting a little spoiled in that regard! Watch out friends and family, we might expect a lot when we get back!!
That’s all for now! Thanks for keeping up with us on our adventure in India 🙂