Christmas in Bhubaneswar, India

As India is not a Christian country, you don’t see any sign of Christmas here apart from in the tourist hotels..

Instead of Christmas festivities with the family, or rather, to make up for the lack of them, I treated myself to a (cold) shower after having broken my own record of consecutive days without washing since I left Istanbul 5 days ago! This was not intentional, but due to the 20 hour stop over in Dubai and the lack of any shower in the youth hostel (which was a bit weird) in Hyderabad.

Add to this the fact that I managed to leave a packing cube with half my few clothes in a cafe Istanbul, you can imagine how stinky I was!

As for Bhubaneswar itself, I saw the Lingaraja and other temples today which were pretty cool.

Mini JBS checking out the temples


The funny thing is though, unless you have a guidebook, there is very little information in the town about where to go and what to do – I asked at several places, no-one even seems to have a map. Just a question of telling a rickshaw driver where to take you.

As many probably know, the driving in India in general is pretty insane. No-one appears to take much notice of lanes at all which makes the roads resemble a game of wacky wheels, and there is a constant cacophony of horns all the frikkin time. As far as I can gather, tooting your horn can mean several things:

  • Get out of my way
  • Watch out
  • I’m here
  • I think you’re an idiot
  • I think you’re hot
  • I’m slowing down
  • I’m speeding up

i.e. anything basically.One thing that amused me today was on a busy intersection my rickshaw driver decided to stop the wee vehicle and have a piss on the roadside before continuing our journey. I also came across another cliché on the road: the sacred cow, bringing all traffic to a halt. It feels like the India I’d imagined, but at the same time it feels like I’m in a movie. To add to that, I have yet to see another foreigner apart from myself ever since I stepped off the plane a couple of days ago.


Navigating through the cows in India

Speaking of movies, I went to the Ramoji Film City a few nights ago (India’s version of universal studios), and had a whale of a time with some Indian cool dudes I met there. But I’ll leave that to another post sometime soon. I’ll also be writing up about loosing the police on the side streets in Istanbul, feeling my soul being crushed in Dubai, and all the other stuff that has happened to me so far.

So stay tuned, and until then, don’t do anything stupid that I wouldn’t do – like forget all your clothes in a Turkish cafe of course.

Next stop for me: Puri, as I hear they have some nice beaches and apparently, you can also rent an Enfield motorbike and drive along the coast to the sun temple in Konark.

Posted from Bhubaneswar, Orissa, India.

  • Alicia Alonso

    you felt like in a movie? I hope not like in that movie someone posted on FB last year… ( i don’t remember if it was you or Vanjul, but you remember which movie for sure… hehehe)

    • Jonathan Baillie Strong

      the adios amigos from Edinburgo movie?

  • Giulia

    I think Enfields are very common in India! I took a photo of my boyfriend riding one in Mumbai:


    Have fun and  a safe journey!

    • Jonathan Baillie Strong

      Cool! I ended up taking a smaller bike in the end, fortunately no accidents on the wacky wheel streets of India..