contradictions in India

For me contradictions abound in India.
I am in a fascinating new place, on the other side of the globe, but I hardly have time to see it. Outside the average office building where I work [and work and work] in is an encampment of shacks. 'Temporary' homes for construction workers and their families completely primitive.
I am here in the monsoon season but there is a drought.
When it does rain [heavily] there doesn't seem to be much drainage planned and the water just piles up.
Being in India is an intense experience. To be fair, I would probably find training for 4 solid weeks, noon to 9pm, working 55 hours a week intense no matter where I did it. India though just adds it's own twist on everything.
There seem to be temples and shrines everywhere and all in use, I asked one guide how many temples there were in the city of Hyderabad and he seemed floored. There must be thousands I guess he finally answered. I bet he is right, it reminds me of Rome with a church or a ruin on every street. There is a level of poverty that is stunning along with an amazing level of devout belief. I wonder if these 2 things often coincide?
There are many things to laugh about, usually at myself when I rub up against a cultural difference that just strikes me as funny. One can get so used to security that one is amazed to enter a restaurant and not go through a metal detector first
There is an amazingly expensive hotel. The hotel had a smokey kitchen fire the night of a big storm, when the doors were opened to let smoke out water rushed in flooding the lobby. Now the lobby smells, as far as we can tell the area rugs were never picked up for drying or cleaning. Could it be that smells are just to be expected during the rainy season? I have no idea, it's India and things are just so different from anything I knew previously.
People have a hard time saying no, some people even say yes when they mean no, for the life of me I can't figure out when yes means no and when yes mean yes. Except by results. It can be totally bewhildering.
I am in awe, at how people work, at how they eat but stay so tiny, at how they laugh and share, I am amazed at all the sameness. I have 9 more days in India and I can't even imagine what will happen next. Except I'll be working a lot.


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