Here are a few important lessons and facts that I have learned since coming to India. You might want to stick these in your suitcase if you ever happen to come to Delhi…

1. When everyone is drinking their chai, DO NOT NOTICE the slurping. The moment you notice the slurping, it’s all you will hear!!! *slurp* *slurp* *slurp* *slurp* Noooo!!!!!

2. Don’t say ‘thank you’ very often. It offends people! When you thank someone for doing their job (bringing you chai, clearing your plate, etc.), you are basically implying, “I am surprised that you are actually capable of doing your job.” Woah. Sorry Mom. I know you taught me to be polite, but… well, I can’t.

3. Auto rickshaw drivers are mean. Well, maybe they’re just misunderstood. But they sure do seem annoyed every time I want them to take me anywhere…

4. With 85% humidity, you’re going to sweat a little. Get used to it!

5. We get a lot of English words from Hindi (thanks to the British). Pajamas, bungalow, cushy, pundit, thug, khaki, juggernaut, pariah, shampoo, loot, caravan, bandanna and a bunch more! Nifty…

6. If you’re a westerner, don’t ever pay the first price a merchant says. People joke about “skin tax.” But oh, it’s real. I usually start about halfway down and work my way up…

7. When going for a run, be sure to remember which way is north. After a few minutes, all the streets of South Extension 2 start to look exactly the same. Don’t worry, though. I eventually found my way home. Haha…

8. With no word for “please” in Hindi, many Indians don’t know how to use the word in English. So don’t be offended when someone tells you to “Just come do this now.” They’re probably not trying to be rude.

9. If you ever want to taste again, go easy on the green chilies.

And probably the most important lesson I’ve learned here…

10. Smiles go a long way. Use them often.

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About the Author: Barry is the founder and Executive Director of World Next Door. A storyteller, traveller and giant nerd, he lives to compel suburban Americans to get engaged with social justice and find their place in God's kingdom revolution. His ultimate dream is to adopt a pet monkey named Kevin.

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