Things I’ve had to tell myself in the past 8 years….
Don’t go out at night.
Don’t talk to any stranger.
Don’t make eye contact with any stranger.
Don’t go anywhere alone.
Don’t walk on the streets.
Don’t take an Uber without making sure someone else is tracking your ride through the Safety feature.
Don’t dream of taking a rick without haggling.
Don’t wear anything that is remotely tight fitting or sleeveless (unless travelling by own car).
Don’t use buses (particularly terrible when it comes to sexual harassment) (even in full uniform-esque attire).
Don’t look for friendliness from people you don’t know personally already.
Don’t get annoyed when people cut the line.
Don’t be upset because someone is rude.
Don’t be nice by default, act “stern & rude” otherwise you will get ripped off.
Don’t trust people.
Don’t wish for clean streets.
Don’t think of dust free homes.
Don’t dream of friendly neighbours.
Don’t wish to feel safe in your own home – gated communities with proper security, what’s that?
Don’t wish for elevators.
Don’t wish to see the stars at night.
Don’t wish to see beautiful sunsets (or sunrises).
Don’t wish for cool evening breeze to get lost in. It’s either hot loo or dust storms.
Don’t think of not switching on the AC 24*7 during summers (April – October).
Don’t think of not running the air purifiers and heaters during winter (November – March).
Don’t go out to parks (pollution and/or monkeys and/or dogs).
Don’t ride your bicycle. Ever. (The AQI is never good enough to ride outdoors).
Don’t go out at all during the months that constitute “Airpocalypse” (October – February).
What’s next? Don’t breathe??!!
Welcome to Life in Delhi – life in a dusty little cage.