Madam - Indian Train - this one in GoaNow that I’m leaving India in a few short months, I’d like to talk some more about why I’ve loved living here for four years.

That’s three years this time in Bangalore and a year earlier, down in Kerala.

First and foremost is the warmth of the Indian people. Really, one to one I have never met a group will take visitors more to their hearts.

Sure, if you’re travelling there is a certain assumption that you’re rich, so you’ll get lightly fleeced as a tourist. But once you’re a personal friend, there is nothing that is too much trouble.

A common phrase here is ‘no thanks between friends’ – because the assuming that you’re my friend, of course I’ll help you, why would you say thank you for something so basic? Delightful. Though difficult to remember not to say thank you sometimes.

In particular, one of the things I find most charming about Indian people, is that there is no difference between a friend they’ve known their whole life, and a friend they made last week. Where I’m from there are all sorts of gradations of friendship… not so here. Once you’re in, you’re in.

Well, almost. There is one grade of friend that can never be matched and that is your chaddi buddies. Or your underpants pals – those that you grew up with as a very, very small child. Those friends are special and for life. But apart from that all others are equal

And as this is just one of things I love about India, over the next month I’m going to be celebrating other ace things I love about this country. And one or two things I don’t (well I am leaving after all)

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This post is part of the ‘Reasons I live in India’ Series. Which is now poignant as I’ll be leaving soon. Read more of them here:

Reasons I live in India : The Sky
Reasons I live in India : it’s more colourful
India, we need to talk

And do please let me know your thoughts in the comments below.