The safety of women is questionable in the country that I come from. It was more so a few years ago, nevertheless still exists. Women in India have to be more guarded when venturing out especially alone and in the night hours. Our parents always made sure that we were home before a specific timeline. Upbringing and society’s ways are such that being cautious is a necessity.
In contrast, what amazed me was how women in Europe go about/ carry on with their lives. Fearless and confident! A lone woman waiting at a deserted bus stop in the dead of the night almost seemed like an apparition, unreal. She seemed as cool as a cucumber, and we were impressed. You’ll find young women briskly walking home from work alone in the night – free-spirited and without a care. Even traveling alone on public transport late is quite safe. Ofcourse, there may not be another option. Nevertheless, it is a learning experience – to be independant and strong.
Another cool thing, moreso in western countries is the freedom to dress up the way you like, wear any type of clothes and no one will bother you!
The saying in Sanskrit “athiti devo bhava” aptly signifies a culture where guests are treated with care and warmth. In Indian homes as well as hotels guests are treated as though they are Gods. The hospitality at hotels in India is terrific, top-notch hotels take hospitality to the next level, making guests feel like royalty. Otherwise, also you’ll find yourselves surrounded by a bunch of people as soon as you alight at your abode – right from opening the car door for you, to your luggage being taken care of immediately, welcome drinks, and friendly staff!! Finally, there is someone to guide you to your room as well and inform you about the facilities available.
If you are a tourist in Europe, all these are absent and the experiences are quite different. Here’s a snapshot of your advent to a European destination :
Arrival Day :
You arrive at your hotel sans a soul at the entrance, and you wonder whether you are at the correct location. Everything is quiet and activityless.
Stepping inside the automatic doors, hauling all your luggage, and weary after a long journey, you face a receptionist who appears to be deeply immersed in her work. Acknowledging your presence after a few moments only, you are handed over the keys to your room.
The choice of room is subject to availability on that day, even though you’ve booked in advance.
Something that might be unexpected for first-time travelers to this part of the world, which you get accustomed to subsequently. Though the benefit of doubt for the first point can be attributed to the cold, windy weather, where people prefer to stay indoors.
Everything in life and in the cosmos is interconnected, and that brings us to the next point, which is EQUITY !! The dignity of labour is the biggest asset in this continent (Europe). Whether you are a mechanic or a doctor, a cab driver, or a top-rung manager, you’ll be treated with equal respect. No matter how much you earn or what type of job you are in, there is no disparity between people from different professions.
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