Fuck you, India
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So he asked us to stay another few days for a bachelor party and honestly it was tempting but the road was beckoning. Marcin and myself are not liking India. It’s a shame, I came on this trip expecting India to be a highlight but it’s the opposite. The people are rude and frequently offensive, the country is so disorganised as to be a total mess and the driving is shocking. Simply, these people are stupid. They’re so stupid as to have utterly destroyed this country. These people are not the ones I know from London. I have Indian friends and they’re engaging, interesting and diverse, these people are completely different
To be honest I came on this trip with no prejudices and with an open mind ready to learn new things about new cultures. Sadly I’m going home with prejudices. There is no culture here in India, there’s just endless mess, building crumbling, streets in tatters, people dishevelled, drugged out of their mind at the side of the road, or in one case today lying in the road with his legs out while cars were riding straight at him. This place is a sad reflection of the India I expected. It’s a grim joke, it’s like the Empire pulled out and the country lost its foundation, collapsing to the state of a typical third world country only with delusions of grandeur. And the worst thing about this place is the attitude towards Pakistan. The subject comes up a lot and we’re told that they’re crazy or dumb or evil. Invariably the people telling you this have never been. Now I’m not defending the place, Pakistan needs a lot of help, it’s a crumbling mess itself and with a government bent on keeping the people under control but the people are far nicer
So along the way we saw a mixture of the stupidest driving ever. Several times we were literally run off the road. Occupying our own lane and a truck or a bus comes directly at us so we had to ride off the road into the dirt. Time after time the traffic ground to a halt due to there being a junction and they’re all fighting to get round so they end up totally stopping moving and just honking horns at one another. We’ve had several near misses today, Marcin had to slam on the brakes when a woman led her kids out in front of him and we’ve had to swerve dozens of times as cars pour around corners on both sides. Tractors suddenly come towards you down a motorway in any of the lanes, pedestrians stop and chat on dual carriageways. It’s insane, it’s like the entire place has been chemically lobotomised.
Today we saw two trucks which had collided. They’d shed their load and come off the road into a ditch. As we passed the entire cab of one was collapsed, nobody could have survived
So we plodded on and only managed 200 miles. The miles just wouldn’t tick away, we were constantly stuck behind things, the roads are nowhere near able to support the level of traffic using them.
Eventually the sun began to set and we started looking or a hotel. The first one wouldn’t accept us so we headed into town before it got dark. The GPS took us to a newspaper office but we got directions and moved it along although by now it had got dark. Next we ended up in an alley. A couple of kids gave us directions and a guy offered to lead us.
And then it finally happened. We all knew it would...
THE KTM BROKE DOWN!
I’m just glad it was him and not me, I would never have lived it down
There are two things I love here and both are double edged swords. The first is the food. It’s awesome. It’s delicious and caters for vegetarians so I’m not living on side orders of chips any more. Every day I just grab some new thing off a menu and its always amazing. It gives me the shits, but the food is awesome. My only regret is the markets offer things far more impressive and i want to stop and try everything but the conditions are so poor I know it would make me shit my spine out. The other thing i’m loving is the Enfield Bullet. I’m having one. Simple as that. They’re awesome bikes and I aim to own one. I’m dreaming of an “Enfield adventure” as I ride. The bike with a new, updated set of forks, headlights and clocks, better rear shocks and a few improvements would build to a solid, durable and cheap adventure tourer.
As expected the KTM still wouldn’t start so Marcin had a solution. Sadly for me the solution was that I tow him. So then we had this bizarre situation of my little single, which he derides daily for being too small, pulling this mammoth pudding of a motorcycle through the streets of this crazy market street with everyone trying to overtake us. We made it to the hotel but my bike was not happy with the extra weight. We stripped out the battery which was dead flat. Marcin had a charger but my fear is that the battery is dead and we’re now going to have to source another one before we move on. I don’t think that getting a KTM battery here is going to be easy!
What is easy in India? Dying in a road accident is pretty easy.