For those of you who don't know, I just got back from racing the Track Asia Cup series in Bangkok, Thailand and New Delhi, India. It was an amazing experience, amazing food, and lots of good racing. I met some great people, and learned a lot of new things. Here are exactly 27 of those things.
1. There are a ton of people, way more than Kansas. Where did all these people come from?
2. Always chew your food very well. Most animals have bones.
3. Pack like your bag is going to get mauled. Even for short trips.
4. Ask people if they speak English, it's a great way to start a conversation. In English.
5. Get a sense of direction, and use it! Cardinal directions and landmarks go a long way.
6. White privilege can work for or against you. You don't get hassled a lot of places, but you might end up getting ripped off on a taxi.
7. Team USA needs to step up our matching tracksuit game.
8. Be decisive. If something needs to happen, make it happen!
9. Charades is so much more than a bad party game.
10. People stare, just get used to it.
11. Personal space varies widely by culture.
12. Body language for "that food isn't very good" is pretty universal.
13. Yes doesn't always mean yes.
14. Google all the questions you have. Why do Indians wear turbans? When is Diwali? What is lychee? Does Delhi have a subway? Is the Delhi subway safe? If you are wondering something, it's basically a given that the internet has already answered your question.
15. Pretending like you know what you are doing goes a long ways.
16. Sometimes people can tell that you don't know what you are doing, and that can also be ok. Some of them may be trying to scam you, but a lot of them are trying to help. They want you to have a good time in their country!
17. Don't eat the street food. It might seem more authentic, but e.coli is also authentic for a lot of people.
18. Really stick to bottled water. Embrace your inner germophobe! Brush your teeth with it, rinse your bottles with it, etc. If you don't buy bottled water at home, don't worry. It's cheap, and easily accessible.
19. Single speed bikes might not be fast, but they can take some serious shit. Literally and figuratively.
20. The smaller the form of transportation, the faster you can get through traffic.
21. Members of the Indian military get paid more to grow and maintain a moustache.
22. Synonyms can make language way easier/clearer/simpler/smoother.
23. Everyone thinks American music is just Drake, and everyone loves Drake.
24. There is never enough wifi.
25. Bartering is practically a hobby in India. They love it, so join in! Haggling is the fun part of buying something.
26. Contrary to Liam Neeson, not everyone who talks to you is trying to steal your kidney.
27. If someone doesn't speak English and you make a joke about how you don't speak Chinese, they still won't understand the joke. Every time.
All things considered, I learned a lot! I'm so glad I got to go, and thanks to everyone who made it happen. If you get the chance to travel overseas, I highly recommend it! It's a life experience that I hope everyone gets to try. If you made it this far, check out the pics from the trip on my Facebook page, as well as below! Just cook some curry in the background, get your friend to sit outside and honk your car horn, and it'll feel like you are there.