My business trip to India - Part 2/3
Kay reports from his first day on his business trip to India.
The first night in India has passed, and the first morning on the subcontinent has already brought about a big challenge for me – breakfast. I have rarely seen such a rich breakfast with food that I am really “afraid” of. An old travel adage says “cook it, boil it, peel it or forget it!”. Most of the time, I have tried dishes that have reached the boiling point or even came out of the oven – I really enjoyed them. I think some more experiences will arise concerning the Indian cuisine because of the high variety of ingredients and spices.
Probably, the most exciting aspect of the stay abroad is the traffic. Even crossing a road is an adventure. The number of lanes indicated on the asphalt has nothing to do with the division of these lanes, as people here do. The left and right lanes are overtaken at the same time. If you signal that you are going to take a left turn, you can still turn right and vice versa. The horn plays an important role in Indian traffic. It has many meanings, from “I am here” to cursing the person in front. It seems as if the horn can be operated differently, so that different sounds are produced.
If you want to travel in India, you can do this either by car, scooter or by public transport. But you should be aware that the average speed we are used to in Germany is not the same as in India. The travel times are incredibly high, but the good thing is that the prices for travel within the country are affordable. For example, a bus trip from Pune to Nashik (about 200 km) costs less than 9 euros, but takes almost eight hours.
As happy as I am, I forgot my wallet and passport at the hotel in Nashik. Imagine that: A hotel employee took an eight-hour drive for the round trip just to bring my wallet. Even without additional costs. Hotel service at its best! Thank you!
Another experience was one of the biggest trading markets in Mumbai. The approximately three-hectare market (mandi) trades agricultural products such as fruits and vegetables. However, crops like wheat or rice, are not found here. The market is divided into two areas: In the first part, goods, which are delivered by farmers are traded by “agents” to wholesalers. So the farmer delegates an agent to sell the goods under his name. The opened sacks are traded in camera, meaning that the agent and wholesaler hide their hands under a cloth while negotiating the price by tapping their fingers in different places on the other person’s hand. After the price has been set, the goods are placed on the scale and the trading amount is determined. The price is only known by the agent and the buyer! Even the farmer does not know the price. He is hoping for just a small profit. By the way, the buyer in the first area is now the seller in the second. In this place, quantities above 2.5 kg are traded. Smaller quantities are only available at the fruit and vegetable retailer around the corner.
As you can imagine, India has a lot to offer. I’m looking forward to the coming days, which will definitely be exciting.
See you soon,