Monday, 14 December 2009

Always Look on the Bright Side of Life

I've been under pressure from my manager to write something more 'positive' about India. She masquerades as the communications manager but I'm pretty sure she's really a censor for the Indian Ministry of Tourism. I'm constantly being told that my blog will not entice people to come to India and visit. We also disagreed on the museums charging extra for people who don't look like they're Indian (around ten times the price!). I said it was discrimination, she said that they've got to make money from tourism some way. I think we've agreed to disagree.

Today, at any rate, I've decided to talk about how exciting it is here, especially getting to work. I know that the traffic has been mentioned quite a lot, but with a commute each day of over four hours it does form a large part of what I do.

So, without further ado, leaping onto moving trains and buses is great, great fun. I'm serious. Only this morning I travelled several hundred yards down the road literally hanging out of a bus. No-one can say that the journey to work is boring. And journey it is. Expedition even. You've got to have your wits about you or it could all go pear-shaped. At any rate it makes travelling in the U.K. positively pedestrian. One thing I shall take back with me is how sterile and dull day-to-day life can be in Britain. Maybe it's the rise of blame culture and suing, but the infamous Nanny State does seem very restrictive. Sure, some 10 people a day die on the trains, but considering they carry six million passengers a day (and we are just talking about Bombay) that's quite reasonable surely? I couldn't find any similar statistics for the U.K., although I did see a link saying that 30 people a day die in the U.K. from passive smoking (link).

So there we go, I'm safer travelling on the trains here than I am breathing in Britain. Now that, surely, is a reason to visit India if there ever was one. Come to think of it, what's the air like over here...

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