Chloë in India

We stayed in India for 17 days. India was a very exciting experience for me. We went to 10 different cities and stayed in each city for 2 to 3 days. We had a driver that would drive us to each city and a different for each city. Usually to get to another city it would take 3 to 5 hours. The longest ride we went on was 10 hours!

When you look on the street you can see lots of cows walking around!!! People are very careful around them because if you kill one the fine would be around $5,000!!! The fine is so high because in India the cows are holy and they call them holy cows. There are also a lot of dogs on the streets. Since most of the dogs are homeless, I was scared of them because I thought that some of them might have rabies. Now I know that it is very, very unlikely that you will come across a dog that has rabies.

In Thekkady I went on my first elephant ride. The ride was half an hour and at first it was a little scary but then it got better and became very fun. Whenever we went up a hill I got scared because I though the saddle we were on would fall off. After the ride I got to touch the elephant’s trunk and it was so rough!!! The elephant is so big it eats 250kg of food each day. The elephant’s poo looks like yellow coconuts. At first, the poo is mustard yellow, but then it dries and it turns brown and it looks more like a coconut. The first time I saw the elephant’s poo I thought it was a coconut!!!

Munnar is another city we visited. Munnar is a city on a mountain and since tea is mostly grown on mountains, Munnar is famous for tea. While we were there we visited the Kolukkumalai Tea Plantation. We had a guide through the factory that explained the stages of making tea. At the factory we had to wear masks and a hair cap so we wouldn’t get our hair or germs in the tea. At the end of the tour we got to try some tea. It was so good made with milk and sugar.

Mysore is another city we visited and I got a really nice silk dress made there. In the morning we drove to a tailor that would make my dress. First I chose my fabric, then they measured me and then I chose the style of dress I wanted. Later that day at 6pm my dress was delivered to my hotel room and I couldn’t wait to try it on!!! I’m still so amazed that they can make such a nice dress in just 9 hours!!!

In India the driving is crazy, especially in the big cities. Usually most people don’t even use the lanes and all you can hear is ‘honk’, ‘honk’, ‘honk’!!! It is very unlikely that you see someone wearing a helmet while riding their motorcycle. You can also see mothers holding babies on a motorcycle with no helmet, while the father is driving—also with no helmet!!!

Closer to the end of our trip, we celebrated Diwali! Diwali is an Indian holiday that’s full of fireworks, festive lights, loud noise and much more. In Canada it would be illegal to shoot fireworks in a public space but in India it’s totally fine. On Diwali in India it’s crazy because people shoot fireworks randomly on the streets. At first it startled me every time one went off, but then I got use to it.

On the very last day in India we visited the Taj Mahal. The Taj Mahal is a gift from a husband to his wife. Most people say that it’s the most beautiful building in the world. The Taj Mahal and everything around it is perfectly symmetrical except one thing: the tomb for the husband’s and wife’s tomb. The Taj Mahal is made of non-porous marble so that’s why it looks so new, considering that it’s 368 years old.

To me India felt so much longer than just 17 days. We were busy doing so many fun activities every day that it made it seem like one month. I still can’t believe I went on an elephant ride (that was such a big experience for me). India was a very different country than any other country we have visited so far. Not only because of the different food and how they dress but the very unique culture. The culture was very interesting, especially all the stories about the Hindu Gods of India. Some of the gods and goddess in India include: Ganesh (the elephant god and remover of obstacles); Lakshmi (goddess of wealth); Saraswati (goddess of knowledge and learning); Vishnu (the preserver god who had 10 reincarnations including Rama and Krishna); Shiva (the destroyer god).