Just Returned from India.....

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#16 Jan 31st, 2006, 03:50
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#16
Let's not tar all India(ns) with the same brush, here. I have noticed that in the south, despite the generally higher population density, there is considerably less shit (and garbage, and dead rats) lying around than in the north. I don't know why that is so, but it is.
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#17 Jan 31st, 2006, 06:39
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#17
Victoria, British Columbia still pumps raw sewage into the Pacific Ocean!
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#18 Jan 31st, 2006, 06:41
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#18
During our travels in Rajasthan I noticed that people were meticulous in keeping their homes and self clean, but had no hesitation in dumping waste in any public place, even a few metres from their front door!! Some more community responsibility/action on the rubbish might help?
#19 Jan 31st, 2006, 07:08
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#19
Hiya,

We have all see it and experienced it in India (and it isn't fun) but I think it is too easy to us to judge the reasons. I think a lot of it comes down to infrastructure not that Indians are more or less dirty or disenclined to keep things clean. There have been enough times in the nice, clean west when garbage collectors have gone on strike and people have been horrified at how fast things degenerate and how little responsibility we are willing to take for out own waste.It's just that we have the luxury most of the time to not think about why it is not there (our council rates, out higher taxes, our smaller and more universally educated populaces.... it's a long list) all mean that day to day we simply have no persoanl experience of what it takes to keep a city clean.

In most places I have been to in India there is little or no public infrastructure to deal with all this waste and the number of people and the introduction of modern waste that doesn't biodegrade means that it just gets worse and worse with little hope of improving.

But there is hope and there are instances of change. There is a program in Gantok now (though I am yet to see it first hand - 1 month and counting till I can see it) where local people are employed by the state to walk the narrow alleyways collecting garbage so that it won't build up in waterways and on streets.

So perhaps, with little projects, one by one and with government help and with better health education and a million other things I am unqualified to imagine, things will improve over time and not just for tourists, we really don't matter so much in the long run as we come and then go home again. But for Indian people, who like all of us, don't enjoy the mess and don't enjoy getting sick from it any more than we do.

But yes, Varanasi can be hard to handle, as can any place that is really dirty.

Padma
#20 Jan 31st, 2006, 07:55
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#20
Quote:
Originally Posted by cyberbaba alrighty then...

i guess the question is why is there this general lack of cleanliness?

off the top, if i had to take a guess at it i would say it has something to do with the "caste mentality" and the idea "i'm above doing cleaning work that is best suited for people of lesser stature than i." so no real public cleaning gets done unless it's paid for.

i have also noticed that when public cleaning is happening (ie. street sweeping) it is generally done in a sloppy way. i wonder if this comes back to that circular mentality of "well... if i don't get it today, i'll get it tomorrow or if not tomorrow... in my next life."

but again the question is why?
You are right ! Everyone feels its the other person's job ! Add to this the general carelessness and lack of awareness of basic hygiene; and you understand why Indians behave the way they do.

These things can be taught only upto a certain extent, the awareness has to come from within.
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#21 Jan 31st, 2006, 13:45
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#21
I wonder if someone can answer this/explain,,,,,,,,,

In Jaipur (though it could have been anywhere) we saw 3 maybe 4 dogs that had been hit by the traffic, main roads not side lanes. But they were left were they where hit to be squashed & flattened into the ground with guts & intestines spread everywhere, certainly not a pretty site.
Question is, Whats the reason that they were just left there & not put on the side,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,
#22 Jan 31st, 2006, 13:53
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#22
i see that with cats here where i live, and certainly with wild animals such as possums, racoons, squirrels.

once my daughter and i were walking and came upon dead possums, a mamma and her babies, lying in the road. we went back home, fetched a shovel, and gave them a proper burial by putting them in the shallow ditch off the road. didn't seem right to just leave them there to be ran over and over again.

Quote:
Originally Posted by seventies'hippy I wonder if someone can answer this/explain,,,,,,,,,

In Jaipur (though it could have been anywhere) we saw 3 maybe 4 dogs that had been hit by the traffic, main roads not side lanes. But they were left were they where hit to be squashed & flattened into the ground with guts & intestines spread everywhere, certainly not a pretty site.
Question is, Whats the reason that they were just left there & not put on the side,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,
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#23 Jan 31st, 2006, 14:14
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#23
Here is a still from a short film I did 1 year ago on the matter.
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Last edited by cyberbaba; Nov 11th, 2006 at 06:37..
#24 Jan 31st, 2006, 16:09
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#24
I can only sympatise with you pantelis. my first few days in India I had a nervous breakdown in a cheap hotel room in Paharganj. it is my second trip in India.
mind you at the end of my first trip in India I was behaving like an Indian, using my right hand when I went to the toilet, wearing dirty closes, etc.

I think you need about a month and a half to two months in India to get use to the filth and the pollution. I am still having a hard time now after almost 8 weeks now in India. we are trying to get cheap and clean hotel rooms and by all means you can find them if you search long enough.

India is hard to adapt to while traveling. it takes some time. I can only say that the worse I have seen so far was Orissa. Orissa is very very dirty, garbage everywhere. I threw away some clothes in the garbage and next thing I knew I looked outside my hotel room and my clothes were lying on the pile of garbage outside the window, in the back of the hotel room. You walk along the beach in Puri, you see dead fish, dead big turtles and the dogs who are knocking themselves out having a big fiesta out of the dead fish and turtles. the beach is also full of shit and other garbage. it is my all means the most disgusting beach I have ever saw. further down the beach there is a an opening in the beach where all the hotels dump their shit. and I mean it. it is a small valley in the beach full of shit and dead turtles and fish and the dogs go right in it. this whole shit is washed by the ocean water, therefore polluting the ocean water. and then Orissa government wonders why the population of turtles decreases and why they find so many dead turtles alongside the beach.

anyhow, yes India is still hard to adapt to.
In kolkatta Indian men piss everywhere in broad daylight. they have no shame whatsoever.

neverming the spitting in India.

now, I wonder why so many travelers return to India even if they know it is so filthy?
is it crazyness? addiction? what is it that makes us want to come back and smell the shit?

I remeber somebody telling me that they knew a person who loved India for its smells. that is why he was traveling through India many times, for the smells and for other things.
now, is shit smell addictive?

if it is, then you have your answer, that is why so many people love India, for the smell and the sight of shit!!...
#25 Jan 31st, 2006, 16:19
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#25
I have to sympathise with the original poster too, I couldn't have put it better myself. I spent just one day and one night in Varanasi for Divali (ist nov 05) it should have been longer but our train from agra was thankfully delayed by several hours and I have to say I felt cleaner and more comfortable on that shitty old train.

It was indeed the lowlight of our North Indian tour followed quite closely by Agra. I was appaled at the shit everywhere too and if I dared to look through at the kitchen of a restaurant it darn near made me sick, I am well used to India now but Varanasi was beyond me. My saving grace was a lovely little cafe called Open Hand Cafe up some side street near to Assi Ghat and recommended by LP, it was the only place that felt really clean and they did great coffee (impossible to find in Varanasi) and home made cakes.

The other terrible thing there was the hawkers, again I am completely fine with this and used to dealing with them or having that look on my face that says 'don't bother with me' in no uncertain terms but it just didnt work here, it was non stop intensity and hassle just trying to walk peacefully along the ghats and it really did piss me off!

We took a morning boat (one of the ones that raises the prices the moment you set off!) up the ganges around 6 in the morning and i was disgusted by what i saw, not just to see all the soap and shampoo polluting the waters but people blatantly throwing plastic bags full of rubbish in to the river! The worst (although it kept me laughing for hours) was one man with his arse and bollocks in full view sat on the step taking a shit straight into the water but also dipping his toothbrush into the same water at the same time to clean his teeth.

I couldn't wait to get out of the place, don't get me wrong I'm glad I went and wouldn't have missed the experience but I will absolutely never go back, same goes for Agra, another shit tip!

Holiest city in the world with the holiest water, my arse!! No excuses!

Cheers
Malc
PS: I agree about Gangtok too, great little scheme going on there, same goes for Darjeeling, no infrastructure in those places either so if they can manage it then why can't others?
#26 Jan 31st, 2006, 16:44
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#26
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Originally Posted by Malkers ... ... ... The worst (although it kept me laughing for hours) was one man with his arse and bollocks in full view sat on the step taking a shit straight into the water but also dipping his toothbrush into the same water at the same time to clean his teeth. ... ... ...

I'm always amazed to see, on the Kerala backwaters, one household bathing, one neighbour washing clothes, another washing food ...but your guy takes the errm, biscuit. Sheesh.... these guys have mighty powerful immune systems.

passingby, yes the pissing does (dare I say this?) piss me off. There is a tour company near my house, and a flock of drivers will park in the next street. It means walking through a urine haze every time I go out. The hotter and drier the weather the worse it gets ---and we have plenty of hot, dry weather here. Telephone and electrical junction boxes are often used to stand behind: I'm waiting for the day I see an arc of urine turn into a big blue flash!

Things is, I kind of know that, one day, I'm going to find myself doing it too

But the spitting... Hands up who's heard of bacteria and viruses? OK, quite a few of you, good. Now, you understand that these microbes cause disease? Yes, more hands gone up. And when you spit, cough or sneeze you are releasing loads of these damn things to infect everyone else? Oh.... no hands

But hey! I live here. I Like living here!
~
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#27 Jan 31st, 2006, 18:52
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#27
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Originally Posted by Malkers The worst (although it kept me laughing for hours) was one man with his arse and bollocks in full view sat on the step taking a shit straight into the water but also dipping his toothbrush into the same water at the same time to clean his teeth.
Please tell me you got this on film?????? I wretched and laughed at the same time.

On my way to work I probably see 1 guy a week in Bangalore taking a dump. This morning the dumper was beside the road, and possibly only 10 metres from 30/40 people waitting on a bus. I think I was the only one that noticed him.
#28 Jan 31st, 2006, 19:22
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#28
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Originally Posted by scub_a_holic Please tell me you got this on film?????? I wretched and laughed at the same time.

On my way to work I probably see 1 guy a week in Bangalore taking a dump. This morning the dumper was beside the road, and possibly only 10 metres from 30/40 people waitting on a bus. I think I was the only one that noticed him.
I'm afraid not, I had the camera with me and switched on but he was right alongside the burning ghat at the top end with 3 fires on the go and the boatmen had only just told me off for trying to secretly zoom in on that, besides that I really wouldn't want to have a picture of a half in/half out turd in my collection thanks!

I dont actually see much crapping in Bangalore but its probably just not on the routes I go, there are several streets I walk down where I have to breathe in and hold breath for 30 secs whilst I stroll past a popular piss wall and several road routes that go over the open drains too, how sweet that I thought it was rivers when I came here albeit polluted ones, never knew it was pure sewage!

Somewhere in town on Sunday I saw about 7 or 8 cows sprayed flourescent yellow, now I had been drinking but not quite enough to make me believe I dreamt it, anybody else seen this?

Cheers
Malc
#29 Jan 31st, 2006, 19:38
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#29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Malkers ......I dont actually see much crapping in Bangalore but its probably just not on the routes I go, there are several streets I walk down where I have to breathe in and hold breath for 30 secs whilst I stroll past a popular piss wall.....
Cheers
Malc
Fantastic phrase - "popular piss wall". My cousin's apartment building had this problem with one of the compound walls. So the building society had the bright idea of sticking large posters of Ganesha and Jesus on that wall, and voila,the pissing stopped!

Seriously though, I feel very depressed after reading this thread. When I went back to Madras last summer, I noticed some areas seemed to be very clean, and everyone told me about Onyx. But then I read how Onyx simply removes the garbage and does not dispose of it properly.
#30 Jan 31st, 2006, 23:21
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#30
surely, there are many indians who do not freely defacate and urinate wherever and whenever, that are also digusted by this problem that largely results from a lack of public sanitation.

what i always wonder is why some seem to have a conscience about it while others have none?
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