Travelling in India and speaking about hygiene facts
Probably this post is not one of the common and usual travel blog posts that you will find online about India, but I can tell you it is one of the most useful before you finally decide to book your ticket to India.
I travelled to India in May while in Myanmar was the public holidays. I had arranged my accommodation for the first night and after that, I had decided to visit the east part of the country. I arrived in late midnight in Kolkata where I stayed two days and I moved to Varanasi by train for three days.
Varanasi is the ritual city of Hindu. Several temples next to the Gage River where people use its water for washing, shower, swimming and to burn and throw the corps.
Later I arrived in Rishikesh by taxi. Actually, thank God I arrived cause driving in India is not the safest option. The travel agent who arranged my movement told me that the trip would be at most 5 hours. Yeap... after travelling for 9 hours we finally arrived in Rishikesh, a nice touristic place, popular for the yoga ashrams, near to the Himalaya Mountains and next to the Gage river.
OK... India is huge, and every part is different. Not only regarding the culture, the food, and the people but also the poverty and the socioeconomic situation. But among all, one thing is common; the low hygiene standards!
And now we get to the point.
Hygiene standards in India are spotty at best and THIS IS A FACT!
Indians think it is gross to wipe with paper and they use their left hand with water to clean away wastes. You will find a small pot that you can use to throw water and after all, you will be lucky if you find a soap. In some cases, there is a spray hose. Thus, they use the right hand to eat with, pick stuff up in the grocery store or to shake someone else’s hand.
According to the Calcutta Municipal Corporation, Calcutta has nearly one public toilet per sq km. The lack of an adequate number of public toilets put Calcutta in the top of the list with the most stinking public toilets and Delhi runner-up. For women, the facility of toilets is even lower.
In Varanasi, the bad smell is everywhere, and this comes not only from the humans but also from the cows that live in the houses or outside on the streets. Literally! When
I arrived in Rishikesh situation supposed to be better. Apparently, it wasn’t. Hindus revere and worship cows and they are considered a sacred animal, as it provides us life-sustaining milk. In the narrow alleys of Rishikesh cows were around, their shit was everywhere, and millions of flies were all over.
I had the worst and most painful ever food poison that kept me running between bed and toilet for almost 8 days. The first question that the doctor made was if I ate a watermelon.
“You should avoid eating chopped fruits.” That was the last thing I remember before I threw up again.
I absolutely respect the cultural differences in the countries I visit. Furthermore, I understand that India is huge and that due to my sickness I couldn’t see the beauties of this country...
However, IT IS A FACT that hygiene standards in India are low and you have to take it into consideration when you decide to travel to India.
Follow me to the next country… Cologne, Germany