The Clock on my computer says it’s Monday at 8 pm.. The actual time “For me” is more like 6 am on Tuesday cause I am currently 18 hours from home. I was invited by my cousin to join him on his wedding day in the Country of India. I took a 12 hour flight with a 3 hour lay over to Dubai and another 3 hour flight to Ahmadabad.

The flight didn’t really affect me to much short of making me sleep for more hours than I am used to. On day one I woke up and was greeted to a shopping trip thru the “older” part of the city. This was on a Sunday and from what I understand no traffic rules are in place. I got on the back of a motorbike and off we went.

The first thing I noticed while on the ride was how ordered the chaos was. Cars moving back and forth, side to side, and stopping and going..yet no one crashed. No traffic lights no one screaming at each other. Just lots of horns and people patiently getting from place to place. We rode for about 20 minutes and at every intersection it felt like it shouldn’t work in terms of driving but somehow it did. Again order…in the Chaos.

This raised so many questions for me… how does it work? Why? The best answer I managed to get was that people simply have been doing it this way for a long time and accidents DID happen but it was just the normal way of doing things.

Naturally this made me think of my parents driving and how stressed they can get while on the roads in America. I think my mother would have a heart attack here just from that. patients is what made it work and I should note that the population here is 10 to 1 in terms of any place I have been before.

So the best way I can really describe it is driving in Manhatten on a Saturday with ZERO traffic rules. It sounds like it’s impossible to work yet yea…it does.

The second thing I noticed was the architect of the city around me. Much like Manhattan it was full of stores and side road businesses. Shops, Hotels,and Restaurants all over the place. The weather sort of like Florida with a hot and humid feel to it.

Dogs and Cows mixed into people running around like business had to start and it sure did. We arrived at a street rowed with motorbikes and parked. We walked down one street and upon looking at anyone standing in front of a store you were immediately welcomed to come inside..

I must have seen at least 20 people tell me “Come in come in I have what you want”. Of course none of this was in English “most of the time” and I learned from being in New York to just ignore the words and get to our destination.

I was with my cousins Brother in law “Soon to be” and he explained to me that the area we went to was a clothing district. He had some clothing he had to pick up for the wedding and so we did that. The entire area was covered in stores full of both men and women fashion. You could find anything you wanted here from shoes, to pants, shirts, and so on you name it. The people WELCOMED you to come and look.

By far the most interesting thing about this place was how everything was sold. Unlike American business here it is actually an art to compromise exactly that. It’s business and prices could be talked down. I witnessed my cousins “again soon to be” Father in law negotiate the price of my cousins tuxedo which had to be hand made because all the seller showed us was some styles and the cloth the seller wanted to use to make it.

Again this wasn’t in English but from what I could tell he managed to buy a 400$ dollar tuxedo for 99$. We almost walked out of the place empty handed 3 times but every time we did the man insisted we come back and talk about what could be done to make the transaction.

Again it was a discussion and that was how everything managed to get sold or bought here. The value of an item sold was that of the seller not a corporation and it could be at times compromised. So just because I bought something for 5$ didn’t mean that it couldn’t be talked down to 1$.

I think business is a universal thing people do. People who have the gift of doing it right show a talent for quality and value.  Probably something I should learn more about in the future.

Naturally with my point of view on everything I asked more questions. How does this work? What is the crime like here? How is it possible? I was given the answer that because it’s a dry state “NO ALCOHOL” Crime was extremely low. People here didn’t do drugs or steal because it was illegal and it just didn’t happen. The state also doesn’t have police but it does have enforcers from the military.

I asked again.. so no crime cause no one drank or did drugs? I was given that best explanation that it was mostly traditions that made it work and because people here communicated. I know know me..and whatever family members I had you also got to know. So personality had a big part of how it worked also.

You didn’t do bad things because it someone was bound to find out and it would reflect poorly on you. Reflecting poorly on personality also reflected on how people viewed what type of person you are. It makes sense I am sure it deserves a better explanation but I can only say so much. I am sure I will say more later…still have so much more time here..

By Alexander Gonzalez

I have been writing observations for the past 10 years. Having lived a life in which I interact with on a daily basis over 100 people. I have some stories to tell.

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