they wont sexually harass me in the street? wolf whistle etc?
they say india is filthy in a way no other 3rd world country really is. ive never been to any other poor country tho so cant really say.i read that jg ballard book about the suburbs and shopping centers in the bath in a manky apartment under a bypass in delhi, seemed very appropriate. big south asian cities including delhi have a particular flavour of bleak i think. karachi, delhi, calcutta, dhaka are all different but share a certain dystopian thing. dhaka and karachi in particular really feel like a disaster has already happened and people are living in the aftermath. they feel like they're in judge dredd.
hard to find the right words for this so forgive me if this is clumsy but there's a weird way as well that poverty in india is different to poverty in other poor countries. i've never got my head around it. the aesthetics of it are different somehow. it feels like the suffering takes place in public rather than in private. even in bangladesh and pakistan there is a certain reserve to it, people hide it more, things like disfigurement and death. in india it's all out in the open.
i've never really been able to articulate it, or seen a good description elsewhere. i don't know if it's a relgious thing exactly. it's a cultural thing. but everything is a cultural thing. one of the problems with making these comparisons between places is that you don't know what you're talking about. the lack of understanding is a quintessential travel feeling i think. you're numb to the symbolic language. you're on a visual plainpeople say, se asia, for instance, just as poor, but people dont wallow in shit in the same way. could be a religion thing?