My first India

Credit : Angela

Disclaimer :  this is not certainly not a I-know-everything-about-India statement but merely a few of my impressions. Please be merciful on any shortcut and/or over-simplification… 🙂 

Summarizing 4 months of India is impossible…not that it is something I would wish to do. I would rather remember incredible little moments.

I am 23 and one of my proudest achievements is how much I have traveled. Granted, being European helps a lot: the next border is just a few hours down the road.
And yet, it is the first time I think I came back a little different.

For once, both my credit card and passport came back with me.
In the end, the only things I left behind were a few of my believes.

Being a western girl in the streets of India?  Clearly not as alarming as the media would want us to believe.
Yet, frustrating: either stared at or ignored as soon as the conversation starts to matter (that’s when you really want to talk to the closest male around).

Source :


I am not necessarily a foodie but I cannot wrap-
up my first Indian experience without talking about the food. Being vegetarian has never been easier. Campus food was mainly composed of rice, dahl (lentils soup), chiapatis and to my biggest relieve, was not too spicy.

See this map?

If the British and the Italian cuisine have nothing to do with each other, how could we expect Indian cuisine to be one?  Momos, raita, naan, biryani, pulao, paratha …you name it !




The only common thing I found everywhere I went, chai, this tea so sweet and spicy that it promises just as many calories and as much pleasure as a Big Mac.

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Never before had such a rich culture appeared before my eyes.

There was Bollywood, this incredible world with god-like celebrities, colorful dances and exuberant cult movies.  Hollywood is not really present in the movie theaters.

And obviously Bollywood is just a fraction of what India offers : there are other independent directors, poets, a new pantheon of Gods, intellectuals, politicians…
Some words that were only sounds a few months ago now mean something to me.

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Cows of India (CofI)

An ambitious project that miserably failed due to a lack of assiduity.  Here are a few portraits They traditionally come with witty comments but in this case, the interviews led nowhere. I blame it on my poor journalistic skills.










India, a country of extremes and passions where…

…homosexuality is still illegal but where it is not surprising to meet two men holding hands in sign of friendship and respect

…traffic regulations officially exist. In reality, the back of vehicles desperately tries to remind you to «Please obey traffic rules » and a honkless driver is a dead driver.

…1,2 billion people speak 22 official languages more than 800 in total

…the richness of the women’s saris clashes with the poor state of some streets

…noding your head sideways means approbation. Among the many new things I had to adapt to, this was maybe the hardest one : until the very last day I thought teachers were shaking their heads in despair listening to us present our final projects in front of the class…

…numbers are so big that you have to get used to hearing about lakhs (1 lakh =100,000) and crores (1 crore = 10,000, 000). (So hold on to your seat in business classes : add the appropriate number of zeros and then convert rupees to euros to try and get a sense of things. 1 euro = 75 rupees)

…individualism and the nuclear family as I knew it are not the norm and family has a much larger meaning : cousins are called brother and sister and Indian people my age have already attended dozens if not hundreds of weddings

…more than half the population does not have private toilets but where 3G allows you to be fully connected to Europe while on a boat in the middle of the river Ganga

DSC06905 [1600x1200]Credit : Shubham

Finally, living in India is about learning patience.
After all, it is the secret of a good chai, a successful group meeting and a travel journey without getting a stomach ulcer.
You have to accept to let go to embrace the experience.

India is as wonderful as the people you meet there. And my India was incredible.
Thank you.

A few memories in video

7 thoughts on “My first India

  • 13 January 2018 at 8:40 am

    Captured well. India is a land of extreme. True

  • 4 January 2018 at 10:48 am

    Thanks a lot 🙂

  • 4 January 2018 at 8:18 am

    Very well captured and beautifully written! Enjoyed reading the blog!

  • 3 January 2018 at 5:51 pm

    Beautifully captured the essence of India.

  • 3 January 2018 at 5:09 pm

    Wow ! Amazing pictures .
    Love the comments post the Holy Cow’s ! Interview ???

  • 3 January 2018 at 5:07 pm

    Great pictures. I happy to see myself in one the pictures. 🙂

  • 19 December 2017 at 12:08 pm

    A beautiful marriage of word and picture. Looking forward to reading your next adventure <3

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