Monday, July 4, 2011
(PICTURE: Wearing masks on the street.)
One thing you immediately notice in India is that the air is not very clean. Huyen almost immediately wore her Vietnamese style nose and mouth mask to protect herself from the elements. I was a little more hesitant because I just feel a little weird walking around wearing a mask when nobody else has one on. Within twenty four hours of arriving, both of our eyes and throats felt very irritated. Within forty eight hours, I had started to develop a little bit of a cough. I then turned to the back of Lonely Planet and read, "Around 25% of travelers to India will develop a respiratory infection. This usually starts as a virus and is exacerbated by environment conditions...". Well, after reading that, I put aside my self consciousness and began to wear a mask almost all of the time when we were on the street.
One of the added side benefits of wearing a mask was that less people came up to us, trying to sell us stuff or scam us. Occasionally I would forget the mask and we could really see a difference on how many people would approach us. So, I guess a tip I would give to people is that if you pretend to have an infectious disease, you might enjoy your trip a little bit more.