I had heard lots of things about India before going. People told me I would see dirty children begging for money, which I did. They said I would see disabled individuals without limbs lying in the streets, which I did not. I heard I would probably be pick-pocketed, which didn't happen. But nobody once told me to be prepared for all of the animals roaming the streets!
As we are driving to our first hotel in the morning, I see monkeys in the trees. The taxi driver informed us that they are all over - like stray cats. And they were. Monkeys everywhere! Which is fine with me, but I have a dear friend who hates monkeys and wouldn't been a wreck all week. But, monkeys are just the start of it. Cows are everywhere you turn. As a sacred animal, they are left alone to do as they please. It's against the law to harm one, so they have free reign. They are outside the markets, in the streets, in traffic, and everywhere else you can imagine. They do not bother anyone. The just dig through garbage piles looking for food. And of course, poop wherever they are. As if these two animals were not enough, there is also an abundance of stray dogs, and in certain towns, wild boars/pigs. Yep, a real zoo there.
Imagine all of these animals going to the bathroom all over the streets, sidewalks, etc. Now, add 85 degree temps. You have flies and one awful odor. In some areas, the stench was so bad, it stung my eyes. This is one reason why the cities are so dirty. And, it is perfectly acceptable for men to pee in the streets as well, so yet another urine was added to the mix. I am still contemplating whether or not to throw away my flip flops. I'm not sure washing them will be enough to kill the germs.