It’s been four weeks since I came to Mumbai and was faced with culture shock. Throughout this blog, I will talk about the challenges and differences I’ve experienced.

Adjusting to the food– I absolutely love how cheap and accessible the food is, with street food and restaurants on every corner. Being a vegetarian, I am thriving in India. However, I am a heavy fruit and vegetable eater, from raw capsicum to salads, grapes and apples. But this has proven to be a struggle in India as it is not recommended due to the potential of getting sick. I’ve also come to notice the very carbohydrate-heavy diet that Indians eat, again, something I am not used to. 

Weather– despite it being winter in Mumbai, you experience 30-degree heat; unlike NZ heat, being sweaty and burning, this is a humid type of heat. Therefore, I have to dress in something light, yet covering my skin. 

People– People everywhere. Everywhere you go, there are hundreds of people around you; trains, supermarkets, streets, and malls. The footpaths are dirty, people spit everywhere, and you feel like a fish swimming in a sea of sharks. 

Navigating the train system– the train stations are chaotic. Not only are there hundreds of people, but everything moves at a fast pace. It’s important to know where you are going beforehand so you don’t look lost or have to take out your phone. There are first and second-class carriages, as well as women and disability carriages. The trains run every three minutes here; imagine if Auckland Train System was this frequent. 

Cost of living– in general, everything is much cheaper in India than in NZ. A one-litre water bottle will cost you less than 50 cents, a pizza will cost you $5, a restaurant meal and a drink can cost around $10-$15, taking the train costs less than $1 one way, and shoes can cost around $4. The list could go on. It is significantly cheaper and therefore, for most foreigners, it’s ideal

Hanging out the side of a local train

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