India-Myth or Reality

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You hear something often times and it starts being true, but is it really? These are some of the myths that I had before I moved, and not all of them have turned out to be true. You live, you learn.

  1.  It is cheap to live in India: I have been living in India for just over a year now, and let me tell you, it is definitely not that cheap. Sure, street food is and it is abundant supply, but other than that living in Mumbai is like living in any other global city. I have never hit a convenience store and ended up paying less that 1000 Rupees (approx 55 USD). Comparatively Bangkok seems like a much cheaper city to live in. I mean you can buy a decent meal there for under 2 USD. Try looking for a one room rental here and a fresh graduate will have end up parting with half his salary. And when i head out shopping I see myself paying more than I would in Bangkok for the same brands, plus there we had benefit of numerous sales, which you do tend miss here. Making up for the lack of sales however, are plenty of online shopping options that offer excellent discounts to soothe the shopaholic in you.
  2. Avoid street food: sure you have places that are not hygienic, you just need to avoid those and you are set. I mean half the fun in eating paani puri is standing on the pavement, with five other people as cars zip by. I have fallen sick eating ‘street food’ at a restaurant. So, I say take your chance, learn as you go, or you really are missing out of the myriad of deliciousness. You don’t want to be missing out on your vada pao’s, dabelis, sev puri and tikis, trust me.
  3. India is hot: that is true, for most of the country other than Bangalore, where the weather is more or less pleasant year round. Mumbai is hot and humid and I am not saying Bangkok wasn’t but you tend to notice it a lot more here. Winters, however in this part of the country are pleasant, head up north and you would not want to leave your blanket.
  4. People have no sense of time: this again  is absolutely true. I have a beautician who comes over for my waxing and threading –this place is convenient like that- and no matter what time I make the appointment for or how many days in advance, she is always 20 minutes late. Her record was an hour and a half and this after I had mentioned I had a flight to catch. Go figure And even though I am one of those people who likes being on time, hell I would prefer getting to a place 5 minutes before time, I have learned to improvise. I have no understood that 5pm does not mean exactly that, it can be any time in the next 30 minutes. Going out for dinner or a movie with friends takes some skill.
  5. I won’t find food items that I am used to: you’ll find everything from Thai green curry pastes and couscous to brown rice and pasta in India. Sure, your local kiraana wala might not stock it or even have heard of it. But, one trip to the nearest Hypercity or Nature’s Basket and you’ll be a fan.
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