(3) Incredible India - Departure

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Jan 31, 2017 02:41
I originally planned to travel alone, but Wang, a colleague of mine, saw me preparing for my trip, became very interested and persuaded me to let him in. But he wouldn’t go to Mumbai, because I was going there to visit my friend, and he could save money by not buying a ticket to Mumbai. In the beginning, I was concerned that Wang, purportedly a boring person, might be a bummer, but he later turned out to be a "deus ex machina" – without him, my trip would’ve been totally screwed because I wouldn’t have been able to cram onto the later over-crowded Indian train* on my own.

*Over-crowded Indian trains:

On a sunny morning in June, I waited for my plane at Guangzhou airport. There were only two Chinese people, me and Wang, in the waiting area. Over the past few years, there had been a rapidly growing number of Chinese nationals traveling overseas. Be it NYC, London, Paris, or Tokyo, the duty-free malls were packed with customers from China. However, very few of them would go to India. I guess, now in 2017, things might have change a bit, because recently, a couple of blockbusters set in India have been screened in China, which possibly sparkled the public interest in India.

At the waiting area, I noticed a few Indians fixing their eyes on me. I felt embarrassed and looked away. They were probably thinking, “What’s this young Chinese man goin’ to do in my country?” I felt puzzled and thought, “This is the plane from China. Haven’t you guys seen enough of Chinese people... There are 1.4 billion here!” I then inferred that, perhaps in their culture, staring at strangers might not be considered impolite. I later discovered during my trip that the locals were actually very friendly, and loved to invite me to take pictures with them.

On the plane sitting next to me was a middle-aged Indian man, reading an English novel. “The Indians’ English is excellent!” I thought. There’s an urban myth here that most Indians are good at English because it’s one of the nation’s official languages, which is also part of the reason for its advanced software industry. Upon noticing my self-made guidebook, he broke the silence and recommended me several high-rated restaurants. From the conversation, I learned that he lived in a satellite city of Delhi, and religions and ethnicities in India are diverse – he was Islamic and had many good Hindu friends.

Previously on this travel log:
我原本打算一个人去印度,但是我的同事小王看见我在准备印度之行的准备,产生了兴趣,拉着我说一定要一起去。不过他不去孟买,一来我是要去那里见朋友,二来他可以省下去孟买的机票钱。起初,我有点担心小王的加入可能会让我扫兴,因为据说他很闷(boring),但后来他成为了我这次旅行的关键人物。如果没有他,我的行程会完全乱套,我一个人哪可能挤上那种开挂(crazy and packed)的火车!

6月的某个上午,阳光明媚,我坐在广州白云机场候机。不过,候机区域,只有我和小王两个中国人。近年来,中国出境游人数猛增,不论是在纽约、伦敦、巴黎还是东京,免税店里挤满了中国人,一顿爆买(purchase a lot)。但去印度的人很少。不过2017年,我觉得可能有所改观,因为最近几部国产大片都和印度有关,可能会燃起国人对印度的兴趣。

在机场的时候,有几个印度人盯着我看,目不转睛。我顿时觉得有点尴尬,然后扭头往别处看。他们也许在想:“这个年轻人去我们国家是要干嘛呢?”我有点不解,心想:“中国有14亿人,你还没看够啊?”后来,我了解到,在他们文化里,盯着陌生人看可能并不是非礼之举(impolite demeanor)。后来在印度,发现本地人很友好,经常拉着我和他们一起合照。