So…India….Where to start?
When people try to describe India, they often fill it with so much of their own opinion that it loses it’s credibility. I’ll only be dealing in facts and what I’ve seen.
The place is dirty, there’s no way getting around it. In Nepal the hygiene was questionable but overall it wasn’t too bad. As soon as I entered India things were immediately different. Most hotels didn’t even bother to try to make the bedding look clean, streets were filled with rubbish and then people would then have a poo on top of the rubbish. I wanted to video the way that people were just pooing everywhere but I didn’t really have the balls to whip out the camera and film someone having a poo as they stare directly at you haha.
This is how you finish the ride every day in India. The dust and dirt just covers you from head to toe.
The smells I experienced made me gag constantly and nearly knocked me off the bike.
Like most people who visit India I got “Delhi Belly” which forced me to stay in a hotel room for 2 days. I tried to survive on just packet food and lemonade but in the end I gave up eating. It was pointless, I had diarrhoea for nearly the entire time I was in India, I would only eat every other day just so that I could spend every other day able to ride 200 miles without shitting myself if I hit a pothole too hard.
I could understand the diarrhoea though because I was in a hot sweaty country where people wipe their arse with their hand and don’t use soap and water afterwards.
Yes this picture is disgusting but diarrhoea is an integral part of a trip to India. The purpose of this picture was to show just how violent Indian food poisoning is. I’m not sure what the angle of ‘exit’ is but judging by this photo it must be near a 180 degree spread. Also, squat toilets are a no-no with Indian stomach problems. With explosive diarrhoea with a 180 degree blast radius you’ll just end up shitting in your pants and shoes anyway so there’s no point in using a squat toilet, just cut out the middle man and poo yourself.
Bear in mind that I have one of the strongest immune systems I know of. I spend most of my spare time getting covered in mud, drinking river water and getting very messy. But it all means nothing in India.
A used sanitary towel stuck to a drain pipe that someone has thrown out of their window.
The thing that I couldn’t understand was why NOTHING in the entire country was easy. Here’s a list of things that happened to me:
1) I bought two pay-as-you-go simcards and they both got cancelled after 1 week because the phone shops don’t register them correctly.
2) Almost every hotel requires you to fill out three books with ALL your information….and then they take a photocopy of your passport and visa. Why not just photocopy the passport three times?
3) Most petrol pump attendants will spray petrol all over your bike when they fill it up. But they won’t let you do it.
4) The water or electric will frequently cut out while you’re having a shower
5) WIFI…..forget it. It’ll work for 5 minutes at a time and then cut out.
6) I went to see a movie in 3D, and the cinema set the 3D up wrong so everything that should have been in the background was at the front, and everything that should have been at the front was at the back.
7) Mcdonalds would take 40 minutes to give you your food.
8) Being crashed into while stationary and waiting at traffic lights.
9) My shipping agency gave me the location on a map of the place to get the bike crated. And the location they gave me was 5km from the correct place.
To be honest the list could go on forever. But I’ll just leave it there and summarise it by saying that nothing there works as it should. You will be amazed at the littlest of things that can be cocked up in India.
Oh yeah, the tanker crash;
Yep, I caught this happen on camera (watch the video above).
In the video I describe what happens in the run up to the crash but it was the events afterwards that nearly ended very badly for me. I made the mistake of stopping to see if I could help the idiot driver (unfortunately for India’s gene pool, he survived). If was then that I got basically mobbed by 20-30 people who all crowded around me and started shouting “Police” me. One of them even grabbed the keys out of the bike but I grabbed his hand, dug my nails in till it broke his skin and forcably but not angrily said “NO!”
I then relised that the only way I stood a chance of getting out of this alive was to play my ‘fluffy haired friendly white boy’ card and just endlessly asked them “Do you speak English?” No matter how much they shouted at me and pushed me and the bike around, I just kept asking “Do you speak English?” in my calmest, friendliest voice.
Eventually most of them disspersed once they realised I wasn’t going to give them a fight and due to my rubbish beard and rusty old bike I obviously didn’t have much money. When there was only about 10 of them left they managed to convey that they wanted to see the camera footage and kept shouting “Police” (they must have seen me holding the camera in the wake of the crash). Now this meant one of two things: they either thought I caused it and wanted to see what part I played to show the Police. Or they wanted to see what happened so they could tell the police.
Anyway, once I showed them the footage they seemed content and all signalled for me to leave and get out there as quickly as possible. I obliged and left with another lesson learnt in Indian: If you witness an accident in a country that isn’t European or doesn’t speak English……don’t stop, just keep on riding, it’s more trouble than it’s worth.
There were some pretty aspects to India though, it wasn’t all crashes and excrement lol
This is the Taj Mahal
This is me just after riding through the Indian Desert. Notice the Iphone cable jammed in the throttle to act as cruise control and the rather sexy tan lines that are getting worse and worse haha.
So in summary:
India is difficult, dirty and dangerous. But in a weird sadistic way I kind of enjoyed it. I’d liken it to a marathon; it’s bloddy hard work and if you just avoided the whole thing then your life would be so much easier. But once you’ve done it, you’re glad you’ve experienced it and know what it’s like for yourself.
I’m getting the ferry into Iran in 30 minutes so to say this is a bit rushed is an understatement. Hope you’ve enjoyed it.Ed and 90