I'm writing this at the end of day 3. This is harder than I thought it'd be. Getting time in front of the computer is possible, but getting regular time is hard. Also, it's funny how many things you can do in a day. On day 2 we got to Delhi, and proceeded to drive up to Chandigarh. Chandigarh is a bit like the Campbelltown of New Delhi's Sydney.
The first thing I noticed when hitting Delhi was the smell. You can see this cloud of pollution in the air from the plane, and when you descend below 1 km altitude, the smell comes right into the plane. Walking outside is the same thing. Visibility is like a ridiculous FOW in a computer with the graphics settings a _little too low_.
It's so bad, when driving up to Chandigarh, we could look directly at the morning sun without destroying our eyes. I even took a couple of photos. It's not until well in the afternoon that the sun starts looking normal, but even then the ambient light is very strange. It's like a cloudy day, but the sun is out.
Delhi (and to some extent Chandigarh) at least seems like a tragedy of the commons par excellence. We went into a theme restaurant named "Haveli", and it's like walking into another world. Being a theme restaurant, it was fairly gaudy, and you'd think only tourists would go there, but the food was fairly good, so it was packed with (I assume) locals.
So, the amazing thing was as soon as you go past the gates (inside which is the parking lot), you immediately enter this atmosphere of... sanity. There are line markings for the parking spots, the area is well maintained, and there's a ton of the "small thinking" you take for granted in Australia which is there again inside the walls of the restaurant. A lot of business owners in Chandigarh have taken to providing what I would see as "public goods" to benefit their business, like a make-shift bin outside a shop which sells ice cream, so you can throw the packaging away.
Another thing that gets you is how flat this area of India is. I mean it's like dead flat. Circuit city style flat. As such the cities are in fact circuit cities. Houses are split up into "sectors" and things like that. It's just vaguely amazing to be driving for such a long distance and never have to go past a hill. I felt like they've squandered a great opportunity with this great flat area, because in Australia so much effort and care needs to be taken with the design of stuff due to the interesting landscape. Weather is similarly very predictable (at least so far).
Speaking of driving a long distance, the drive was... fairly scary. A lot of people have stories about driving, so I'm not about to repeat that here, but basically it's chaos. We had a fair few close calls, overtaking is done extremely close (like I wouldn't want to get that close while _parking_, and we're getting that close to other cars whilst driving at 90 kph), and whenever there's a slowdown in traffic, instead of applying the breaks, people split up into "n" lanes, where there's room for "n - 1" cars on that road, and ther's line markings for "n/1.6" cars.
It's interesting to see the amount of advertising in Delhi. A lot of people are working overtime to push their brands. It wasn't so bad in Chandigarh, but in Delhi you can see that people are working really hard to get themselves into the mindset of a market that's just waking up to brands, and is about to get really picky.