Wednesday, December 31, 2014

The Time I Almost Died

India is a scary place.

I can honestly say that I am uncomfortable walking alone in the streets. If it's because I'm a "foreigner" or because of the growing reputation of India, but I honestly don't feel safe. The stares of everyone, especially men, make me feel like prey, and I feel like I should be ready to run at any moment. I am in no way generalizing the citizens here, merely explaining my thoughts. It may all just be the biased perspective I picked up in America, I couldn't tell you.

Driving in India is equally unsafe. The absence of traffic lights and stop signs creates an environment of chaos, filled with horns, honks, and too-close-for-comfort encounters. On the back of a scooter/motorcycle, there have been one-too-many times where I genuinely thought we were going to crash and die. There have been too many times a car has crossed the yellow lines separating opposite directions of traffic. Just way too many.

A subtle yet prominent distinction of color is also present here. Whether it was purely coincidence or an effect of some previous government instilled social ladder, I don't know. As you go down the social ladder, skin color gets darker. In a place where people share so many of the same customs, beliefs, and traditions, skin color seems inconsequential, but yet again the lighter people are superior. It seems like a universal mindset. Weird.