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Banking Problems and Government Corruption in India

The Cause

There is a run on cash in India and it is creating huge lines at banks along with growing anxiety and hostility amongst the people. India is primarily a cash based culture. Only the upper classes have credit or debit cards. Foreign cards often don’t work at all. In a bold and unprecedented move, the Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, announced late on November 8th that Rs 500 notes and Rs 1,000 notes would be illegal. The idea behind the ruling is to curb crime, corruption and the funding of terrorism that runs deep within India. They are giving everyone until December 30th to deposit or exchange their old bills. In the meantime ATMs have been closed for days and people are only able to withdraw a maximum of 10,000 per day or 20,000 in one week, assuming the bank has the cash to dispense.

I have witnessed the corruption here first hand. It is a common practice to bribe a policeman with a 500 rupee note when pulled over for a traffic violation. Once an ATM swallowed my debit card which left me in a world of hurt with no access to cash. The ATM guard told my assistant it was impossible to get my card back. He changed his story when she bribed him with a 500 note. I then got it back instantly. So you can see how common corruption is. Now imagine all these officials, criminals and terrorists with STACKS of cash that have been rendered useless. It may very well help stop corruption, but in the meantime it is causing sheer chaos on the economy and its people. 

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Our Journey and Unforgettable Adventures in Triund India

I’ve been home for a week now from Triund and my legs still hurt. What’s worse is that my heart aches to go back. I think I may have left a part of me behind in those Himalayan Mountains. Triund does that to a person. It’s an experience you will never forget, and here’s why.…

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The One Word from a Hater in India That Sent Me over the Edge

What Happened?

You know that old saying, “Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me.”  Well, that’s bull shit!  The wrong words, at the wrong time, can be emotionally devastating. Even those of us that are often considered strong and independent have our breaking point.  I’m no exception. As embarrassed as I am to admit it, I recently had one of those moments when just one word from a hater sent me into a tail spin that lasted for days.

It has not been easy adjusting to all the cultural differences in India.  The fact is, as much as I try to learn and adapt, I’m still an outsider here.  I am reminded of it every day when people stare at me like some sort of monstrosity or don’t understand what I’m saying. Even if they do understand me, they often don’t understand my intent. I am constantly misunderstood and judged. It has been far more difficult to make friends here than I ever imagined.  I have finally managed to make a handful of friends, but it’s still a huge challenge to try not to offend each other or misjudge the other person’s behavior. I have been trying very hard to not be overly sensitive to such things, but the other day a hater said something to me that felt like a punch in the face!  Here is what happened. 

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