Major Exams & The Bad Life in India 2

So I am studying for exams now (and the entire last week) and am not really in the mood to write a full blog post. A couple days ago I was asked by an guy here at IITD what I do not like about India. Yesterday I finally succeeded after spending a considerable amount of time, money and effort at the Foreign Registry Office in Delhi trying to get my passport visa extended to cover my entire stay. These three things together combine to give quite a different blog post than any I’ve written in the past.

I’ve compiled a list of all the little things about India that still annoy me (of course these are large generalizations and I have embraced them after 4 months here):

  1. No hot showers (best is bucket shower with half boiling water)
  2. People are often late, there is little concept of punctuality
  3. Indoor climate control is very poor
    1. Very little insulation against the cold in winter & hot in summer
    2. Little A/C and central heating
  4. Everything is more dusty which makes it look dirtier
  5. People throw their garbage anywhere and everywhere; the environment is not too big of a concern
  6. There are no fixed prices and its likely people will try to rip you off if
    1. You’re foreign
    2. You’re not in the mood to bargain
  7. Power outages when I’m trying to study and even when I’m not trying to study
  8. Buses and trains do not run on time
  9. Indian bureaucracy is so slow (even the NASA administrator I talked to at the FRRO yesterday said that US bureaucracy is blazing fast in comparison)
  10. Lines/queues do not exist
  11. Even when someone does not know the answer, they will not say they do not know and make one up for you instead: terrible when asking for directions!
  12. There is a general disregard for quality in products

And the worst little thing about India is

  1. People walk so slowly here that I am always stuck behind them!

That being said, lately I am very, very impressed by Indian people. Generally, I have thought of IITians as quite lazy and not hard working at all. In the last week I have seen more hard work, genius and motivation than I ever have in my entire life. These friends of mine are not lazy, they know what needs to be done and can work at extremely efficient levels for the time required to get top marks (usually 1-2 days before an exam). This is the epitome of the phrase “don’t work smart, work hard”.


Sunset on a boat, in the Sundarban Wildlife Reserve outside of Kolkata

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2 thoughts on “Major Exams & The Bad Life in India

  • Sagar

    By commenting on poor Bus and Water rides in India, you’re just bringing your standards down. Canada is in no way superior. LOL! No culture, no family, lonely lives, purely materialistic in every sense, terrible math skills, if technology shuts down one single day: they are dead! Struggle for existense and survival of the fittest. Thats India and to be more general thats Asia!

    There are more better things you can comment about. Like Science behind Indian music, the linguistic nuances, so many.. You just need to pay little more heed to them rather than being pecky about those little things which every culture has buried deep inside.

    • Alexander Harmsen Post author

      Thanks for the comment Sagar!
      I agree with you 100%. I believe the past 9 blogposts have shown a beautiful India with all its flavours and colours.
      This world, this entire continent has culture, belonging and history the likes of which Canada will never know.
      I do not want to be bias however, and therefore I’m just commenting on what I see, feel, think, and experience here on my exchange – the negative stuff included!
      – Alex