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India: Gurgaon, the suburb of the capital (#5).

I leave India tomorrow for Sri Lanka, and I haven’t even talked about Gurgaon or Hyderabad.

Gurgaon was a much different place than Mumbai. I was there from March 5 to March 8. It’s a suburb of Delhi, the capital of India. Thus, the traffic wasn’t as bad, although people honked just as much. I feel like the drivers here use it more as a communication device rather than a danger signal. E.g. “I’m coming up behind you on your right side.” or “Hey pedestrian, I’m not going to stop so you better stop.”

I’m always reminded that I’m in a Hindi- and Muslim-heavy state, unlike the Protestant United States or Taoist Taiwan. This is a big role in everyone’s lives. Lots of women are covered up, lots of men are dressed in pure white. Very interesting, even the airport.

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My hotel was a big downgrade from the Marriott. I stayed at a local place which was less than half the cost. This was out of convenience for the places I had to go to.

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Again, this was more suburb-y. Therefore, a lot more cows on the street. A lot of wild pigs, goats, and dogs as well. None of them were afraid of traffic. Cars, rickshaws, and bikes would go within a couple feet of them and they didn’t blink.

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All the cows here have horns, and they’re not like the black and whites that we see on the I-5 in Central Valley. It also doesn’t smell here, unlike Central Valley. In fact, for such a dense city, there isn’t much pollution, like Central Valley. Sorry Central Valley, you kind of stink.

The neighborhoods here were similar to Mumbai. However, I found the rickshaws to be gutsier. Unlike Mumbai, which only carried 1-2 people, the ones here carried more around 5-6. I also saw mopeds with four passengers. These people would get ticketed so badly in the US.

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From what I gather, I’m reaching a conclusion that the United States has the worst drivers in the world. Nobody here gets into accidents, and they have reflexes like rabbits. It’s like a sailing line. It’s a bunch of fibers tied together. While it may seem clustered, it’s very uniform. Everyone is consistent and moves equally “hectic,” and therefore people, mopeds, bicycles, rickshaws, cars, trucks, and busses are able to weave through each other without traffic lines and paved roads. Indians are like Muhammad Ali, dodging and weaving danger.

The suburbs really resembled Joshua Tree National Park. It looked like California deserts, but definitely more green. The weather was fantastic, and it was really gorgeous. Being in Gurgaon made me miss California for just a few moments (side note: sorry guys, I don’t plan on going back to California for at LEAST two more years, possibly 4-5).

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I’m guilty of not having taken many pictures in Gurgaon. I was encapsulated by everything, soaking in the moment. I still can’t believe I’m in India, having been here for two weeks.

So, I’ve resorted to taking pictures when I’m alone in business. Besides airplanes and hotels, conference rooms is becoming the story of my life. Still, I love every single second of it.

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Right outside these gated walls are boonies. Inside is an oasis. How incredible is that? This place reminded me of Stanford + Wellesley + the layout of UC Irvine.

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I was cordially invited into one of my business contact’s home for some tea. It was such a treat, seeing how the place was decorated!

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On a side note of hospitality, Chai tea is so good. And I’ve had a few small cups of Indian coffee. It’s really, really, really good.

Here’s another photo of a rickshaw, I thought this was a neat shot with the blur.

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And one more shot of how the typical house (I presume) an Indian person lives in, or works at:

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And lastly, the boring-looking Mumbai airport.

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Next 1-2 posts will be about Hyderabad. I’ll be in Sri Lanka for three days, Bangladesh for three days, Singapore for four days, then back to Taiwan.

My next trips in April/May will be in South Korea (confirmed for Seoul), and Japan (in the works)!

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