WRITTEN BY: Yifan Shi
Five things you "must do" according to our intrepid blogger.
1. Trying Indian food
There is no point coming to India without having the delicious local food. Although our chef always cooks us nice food, I think trying new food on your own feels the best. (However, be careful with potential food poisoning!) I ordered a ‘masala dosa’ (an Indian crepe with black lentils and potatoes in it, served with three different kinds of curries) at a bus station on the way back from Agra. As there were no picture, nor explanation on the menu, I did not even know what I ordered until I saw it. It tastes really mild but the potatoes inside were warm and tender, and the spices in the curries were so special and yummy!
2. Bargaining at local markets
You can always negotiate the prices with shopkeepers in many markets. I was an absolute beginner at bargaining, but after watching Teresa demonstrating a couple of times, I started to pick up some techniques. For example, always stick with one price and avoid leaving an impression that our can be persuaded to the shopkeeper. In the end, they usually compromise by saying ‘I give you special price because you are my very important customer’, which reminds me of Russell Peters imitating how Indian people do business. It was hilarious!
3. Queuing like the locals
Queues in India were insane! People do not keep their distance from you while queuing, so you may be squeezed in the middle a lot. The locals also don’t wait after you when you reach the ticket office so there is no need to be too polite! It may sounds a bit strange but it is quite fun when you do it.
4. Taj Mahal
The Taj Mahal is the most iconic place of interest in India, and also known as the most complicated Indian-Persian architecture in the world. It still remains unknown about how this mausoleum was built. Definitely recommend a visit in the morning as the scenery was spic and also few crowd at sunrise.
5. McLeod Ganj
McLeod Ganj is situated in upper Dharamshala, which is famous for the home of the Dalai Lama and the government of Tibet in exile. This place is so attractive to me not only for its exotic atmosphere but also for the history that I could not learn from classes when I was in China.