What are the best libraries in Gurgaon
Tobias Woydich, 26, is studying economics in Wuppertal, is doing his master’s degree and is spending a three-month semester abroad at the Management Development Institute (MDI) in Gurgaon, a satellite city 20 kilometers from New Delhi. Episode 2.
Only at the risk of your own life: crossing streets
I've been in India for a week now and the week has been mixed. Somehow you have to relearn everything here. Take road traffic, for example: A zebra crossing does not mean that cars will stop at some point so that you can cross the street. Instead, as at any other point on the street, you have to dive across the dusty streets with a loud honk and a feeling of commitment to your life. It is completely normal for us newcomers to hesitate for a full five minutes before daring.
Main entrance to the library at the university in Gurgaon
The continuous heat is exhausting. But the campus resembles a holiday complex in relation to the other hustle and bustle. The students stroll around on the streets, many trees provide shade and the beautiful flower beds on every corner let you quickly forget the noise on the street. An oasis of calm.
Feudal lecture rooms
For us, the lectures are exchange students - the others come from Poland, Belgium, France, Denmark, Morocco and Italy - by German standards they are more like seminars. In addition to the exams, participation in lectures and presentations is also assessed, so it is more academic. Instead of folding wooden chairs, there are real office chairs here - I could get used to them.
I quickly got used to the many street dogs here. If I didn't, I could probably lock myself in the room. You are, at least off campus, practically everywhere. Preferably in a shady place where you can sleep in peace. The dogs are not interested in people. Not even in the thick of the crowd, when I was queuing for coffee with dozens of people at a kiosk, the dogs let themselves be disturbed. The coffee costs only ten rupees, or 14 cents, by the way.
Incidentally, several green parrots live in the trees in front of the balcony of our room. Very similar to the parrot colonies in Cologne or Düsseldorf, only significantly larger. And of course there are cows on the streets.
Monkeys know zebra crossings
However, I had the funniest animal encounter on the first weekend in New Delhi at a parking lot in a very quiet area, in the showcase district between Parliament and India Gate. Ten monkeys came down from the trees, eyed us suspiciously, and then ran away in different directions. One of them was so smart and knew how to use the crosswalk properly.
Have patience for internet access
Even before I left, I was warned by all those with experience in India that I had to be very patient. That's not a problem, I thought - until it became a problem. To access the Internet at the university, I had to provide my MAC address, an identification number for each device - but when I tried to log in, I was always denied access. In six days, I went to the university's IT office a total of 15 times and I was always assured that they had already been activated and that the internet access would work for the next few hours.
If a friendly Indian fellow student hadn't helped me, I would probably have to wait for it today: the time without internet access was not fun, without being able to speak or write to everyone at any time, as usual.
The tuk-tuks are the fastest
The three cheapest modes of transport are the metro, the tuk-tuk - officially: auto rickshaw - and the Uber taxi, which is actually significantly cheaper than the normal taxis. After the Indian train stations, the metro is a real surprise - much cleaner than the trams in major German cities. Uber taxis don't drive private individuals here in New Delhi, but real taxis. Except that the drivers often hardly speak any English. So it's best to stick to what the app says.
No one cares about road markings
The ride by tuk-tuk is the funnest and most exciting alternative. Since there are no walls and no belts, you are in the middle of the heavy traffic and hear the chaos and the noise up close. No one even pays attention to markings on the road, there are spontaneous exceptions for the direction of travel. The most important component is the horn, which the Indians actually always use for everything. The fact that the tuk-tuks are so narrow on their three wheels is an advantage. The traffic jams are the order of the day and the tuk-tuks fit through every gap. They are often the fastest companions, especially on shorter journeys.
At first it was difficult for me to negotiate the price with the drivers, but now I enjoy it. As soon as you show interest in a drive on the roadside, a whole cluster of drivers immediately forms. And then it goes like this: The drivers loudly demanded 100 rupees and I initially offered 50 rupees. After I agreed with one of them on 70 rupees, I realized that it was probably a good price: because the other drivers berated mine for it.
You buy rice here in the supermarket, loose and out of these huge boxes. Customers fill bags of the many different varieties themselves and weigh them in order to pay for them later at the checkout. Incidentally, I had a surprise there: a meter away from the cash register, there is a security guard at the exit who compares each customer's receipt with the packed goods. Fortunately, I had packed the receipt, which I never do in Germany.
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