15 Jul 2013

Chapter 8: Happy Indians in Mysore

From all the Indian cities I have seen, Mysore is by far the nicest.
Nice in an Indian way of course, so don’t expect a honking free city with big squares, green wide avenues and very few people. However, Mysore has its charm, one of those cities with personality, where you will find a story and a smile in every corner.

In here I found many examples of what I call the ultimate happy Indian. I’m talking about those guys that stop you in the middle of the street simply because they want to say hello. They ask your name, shake hands, smile and continue with their business. They don’t want to sell anything to you, they just want to say hello for the sake of saying hello.

If you think that is weird, let me tell you that sometimes it doesn’t stop in there; some of them also ask you to pose for a picture with their family. Those are my favorite type of Indians; I just love to see their proud faces after the photo is taken... Maybe it is like I would take a picture of myself with a snake around my neck, I guess I’d feel as cool as them.

Try to do the same in the streets of Helsinki.
No, not the snake thing, I mean randomly approaching people you don’t know, just to ask their name or take a picture with them. Everybody will definitely think you are crazy (unless you do it on a Saturday night at 4 a.m.) and will probably feel so embarrassed.

Anyways, this random acts of sympathy are the main reason why I like this country.

But now, lets get back to Mysore.
If you are wondering what do to in there, here you have my top 3 favorites: The Tipu Sultan palace, the Devaraja market and the Mysore Zoo.


Even if it is the main tourist attraction, the Sultan Palace is a must see. Not only because is beautiful and you can walk barefooted but also because you will find plenty of those random Indians that want to take a picture of you... and that is something you have to do at least once while in India.



You know that I love markets and this one is so cool. 
The difference with other Indian markets is that most of the stalls in here are not at ground level, but inside cubicles in the wall. Looks like an Indian dollhouse or maybe a real-size colorful diorama. I love it.


I have never ever been fan of zoos, I always felt sad for the animals. As a matter of fact I haven’t visited one in 20 years. However, I have to admit that the Mysore Zoo is not so bad. Most of the animals are in open enclosures instead of cages, with natural trees, small lakes, etc… there are no fences, not even for the tigers! In most of the cases they just use moats to make sure that the animals don’t run away… and funny signs to warn people not to get too close. 
It was extremely clean and the animals seem pretty happy in there.

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