All these crazy rumors of India being such a frenetic place, putting you into sensory overload, people groping you on the streets and all that? It's TRUE.
My first day in India I had to take regular breaks of quiet in my hotel room. The smells of Mumbai (new name for Bombay since 1996) are new, everyone is wearing something different, so many kinds of people, so many potholes in the sidewalks to watch out for! I would walk past major architectural wonders without noticing them and have to turn back. Then I would pass them again after being distracted by something else. Then I would go to the hotel and take another break.
I discovered two major drawbacks to my great India adventure, both of which I had heard about, neither of which I had realized would be oh-so-very important.
1. People do actually wipe their bottoms with their left hand. There is usually a spray hose next to the toilet and the seat is always wet. Then there's a bucket usually full of water with a cup in it. What do I do with this stuff?? I'm too embarrassed to ask someone for step by step instructions so I sneak my paper into the room and sneak it out (so as not to clog the toilet)...sorry if I have given you too much information here, but this has been a serious complexity for me!
2. Because people wipe their bottoms with their left hand, there are many rules how to avoid using your left hand in society. These rules, such as eating with ONLY your right hand (without utensils, by the way, but directly with your fingers) are totally impossible to this un-ambidextrous south paw. How will I eat?!? I desperately and boldly decided to eat with the supplied spoon with my LEFT hand and maybe I was paranoid but I was sure I could hear snickers throughout the restaurant the whole time I was eating. I may need to do take out and practice with the right hand in my room for a while. Ahhh my room, my sweet dumpy little safe-haven from all that is crazy and unfathomable outside those doors.
Ah, and let me add a Major Drawback Number 3: Everyone speaks English but with the accent I don't understand a word anyone is saying to me. I'm used to nodding and smiling without understanding a word but in my own language?! Hope I pick up on the accent soon.
I went to bed early because I couldn't take anymore for one day.
Today is day two, I'm starting to love the craziness. More later, maybe with pics.