Wait what? No this is not what you think, hold your horses. I will not spill about my true love stories. However I am amazed by how love, sexuality and relationships are interwoven and at the same time a total taboo in this busteling, rising metropool. It is everywhere around you, but nowhere to be found. Because let’s not forget, ‘it’s public’. Apparently this is the main restriction, the public; how you come across, what other people think, or maybe more importantly, what other people say about you behind your back. So you will keep up appearances, only do just enough so people will know, but have nothing to really gossip about. A very clever, unspoken, mysterious maze of unwritten rules of behaviour.
For me as a total ignorant and blunt foreigner from Amsterdam, these rules are hard to grasp. I mean, it’s not that i received a list of rules when going through customs. Actually, speaking of this, I received something completely different when going through customs at the New Delhi International Airport. When arriving after a day long flight, prepared to cue up for the e-visa customs official, I was friendly hailed over to one of the empty lines. My first thought was this window was just opening, however when a soul-seeking-hippie cued up behind me he was told this was a ‘diplomats and specialty line only’. And well, yours truly is none of these. So, here the fun begins.
During the weeks of my travel I have had more declarations of love than I can remember. Whilst hanging from a speeding cycle ricksha, walking down the street, in restaurants, cafes, and guesthouses. Yes, especially when not even have exchanged simple basics as a name, marriage proposals are flying through the air.
It is striking that in a country where all related to sexuality and relationships is a taboo, marriage and love is shouted around, while in my own country, where you can kiss on the streets (without an umbrella to cover up), talk openly about sex and where people live together before marriage, it takes some people years to finally come clean on the I-love-you-front.