Seriously Shocking First Impressions of INDIA 🇮🇳

TREAD the globe
20 Apr 202417:39

TLDROur journey continues as we arrive in Kolkata, India, and are immediately struck by the city's vibrant energy. Exploring the downtown area, we encounter a bustling flower market, colorful buses, and a local barber giving a shave. We navigate the lively streets, observing the locals carrying goods on their heads and the unique driving experience with lots of honking. After a delicious lunch of biryani and dhal, we reflect on the cultural differences and look forward to our next adventure with our van, Trudy.


  • 🚍 After shipping their van Trudy, the travelers arrived in Kolkata, India, and were immediately struck by the city's density and unique atmosphere.
  • 🌏 Kolkata is the fifth most densely populated city in the world, promising an eye-opening experience for the explorers.
  • 🚖 The group used Uber for transportation, noting the prevalence of horn usage in Indian traffic, akin to mobile Morse code.
  • 📸 They quickly became a tourist attraction themselves, with locals eager to take photos with them.
  • 🌸 They visited one of India's largest flower markets, which, despite being late, was still a bustling and fragrant experience.
  • 🍛 For lunch, they tried famous biryani at a highly reviewed restaurant, which was a flavorful and filling experience.
  • 👶 The city's markets were described as chaotic yet full of life, with a variety of goods from flowers to food.
  • 🚨 Road crossing in Kolkata involves a certain level of caution and assertiveness, which was a new experience for the travelers.
  • 🏯 They admired the local architecture, including Indian temples, and considered the cultural differences compared to their home in the UK.
  • 🚧 The travelers were cautious about the potential challenges of driving in the city's busy streets when their van Trudy arrives.
  • 📹 The video offers a raw and immersive look into the initial impressions of Kolkata, highlighting the vibrant street life and cultural experiences.

Q & A

  • What is the city that the travelers arrived in at the beginning of their journey?

    -The travelers arrived in Kolkata, India.

  • How does the narrator describe their initial impression of Kolkata?

    -The narrator describes their initial impression of Kolkata as feeling like they've woken up on another planet, emphasizing the city's dense population and the eye-opening experience it promises.

  • What mode of transportation did the travelers use to explore the city center of Kolkata?

    -The travelers used an Uber to explore the city center of Kolkata.

  • What is the significance of the quote by Henry David Thoreau mentioned in the script?

    -The quote by Henry David Thoreau, 'It's not what you look at that matters, it's what you see,' suggests the importance of perception and understanding in experiencing a new place, which is relevant to the travelers' exploration of Kolkata.

  • What is the local transportation style that the travelers found interesting in Kolkata?

    -The travelers found the local transportation style, which involves a lot of honking and what they describe as 'mobile Morse code,' interesting in Kolkata.

  • How did the locals react to the travelers when they first arrived downtown?

    -When the travelers first arrived downtown, they were immediately surrounded by people wanting photos, making them feel like a tourist attraction.

  • What type of market did the travelers visit in Kolkata?

    -The travelers visited one of India's largest flower markets in Kolkata.

  • What was the advice given to the travelers regarding the flower market's best time to visit?

    -The advice given to the travelers was that the flower market should be visited really early in the morning to see it in its full glory.

  • What was the travelers' experience like when they tried to cross the road in Kolkata?

    -The travelers' experience crossing the road in Kolkata was described as adventurous and somewhat intimidating, with the suggestion to 'just go for it' amidst the traffic.

  • What local food did the travelers try for lunch, and what was their impression?

    -The travelers tried biryani for lunch, which they found to be huge in portion size and very flavorful. They preferred it to biryani they had in England, noting that it was moist and had a good kick of spices.

  • What was the travelers' final activity of the day after exploring Kolkata?

    -The travelers' final activity of the day was returning to their hotel, reflecting on their experiences, and anticipating their future journey driving across India.



🌏 Arrival and Exploration in Kolkata

The video begins with the hosts arriving in Kolkata, India, after shipping their van Trudy. They express their excitement and awe at the city's density and vibrant atmosphere. The hosts plan to explore the city center while waiting for Trudy, offering viewers a raw walking experience. They use an Uber to navigate the busy streets, noting the unique driving culture and the prevalence of honking. Upon reaching downtown, they are quickly surrounded by locals wanting photos, highlighting their status as tourists. The hosts proceed to explore the local markets, observing the colorful buses, a local barber, and a bustling flower market. They describe the sights, sounds, and smells of the city, emphasizing the chaotic yet lively nature of Kolkata.


🌸 Flower Market and Local Experiences

The hosts continue their exploration by visiting one of Kolkata's famous bridges and the city's largest flower market. They arrive later in the morning, missing the peak time, but are still impressed by the market's size and activity. They describe the vibrant colors and the strong pollen scent, which they humorously relate to a potential hay fever sufferer's nightmare. The hosts also discuss the market's operations, including the trimming of rose heads and the sale of both real and artificial flowers. After navigating through the market, they decide to explore the side streets, encountering a tour group and a beautiful Indian temple. They emphasize their preference for independent exploration over guided tours, appreciating the freedom to experience the city on their own terms.


🍛 Local Cuisine and Bazaar Exploration

The video's third act focuses on the hosts' culinary adventure as they seek out a recommended restaurant known for its biryani. They discuss the convenience and safety of using Uber in Kolkata, avoiding the need to negotiate prices and deal with traffic. Upon arrival at the restaurant, they are greeted with large portions of flavorful chicken biryani, dhal, and garlic naan. The hosts praise the quality of the food, particularly the moist and flavorful rice and the fluffy naan bread. They also share their strategy for dining, recommending not to over-order due to the generous portion sizes. After their satisfying meal, they return to their hotel, contemplating the upcoming challenge of driving Trudy across India.


🍽️ Restaurant Selection and Afternoon Plans

The final paragraph details the hosts' decision-making process for choosing the restaurant for lunch. They selected it based on its high number of positive reviews on Google and the enticing smell of garlic. The hosts share their experience with the biryani, noting its large size and the fact that it was more flavorful and less dry than versions they've had in England. They also enjoyed the dhal and the naan bread, which was so good that it didn't require any curry. After a fulfilling lunch, they return to their hotel, hinting at the exciting adventures to come as they prepare to drive Trudy across India, and inviting viewers to join them for the next episode.




Kolkata, also known as Calcutta, is a major city in eastern India and is the third-largest city in the country. It is known for its rich cultural heritage, historical landmarks, and bustling markets. In the video, the city serves as the starting point for the travelers' exploration of India, providing a vivid backdrop for their experiences.


Uber is a popular ride-hailing service that allows users to book a taxi or car ride through a mobile application. In the script, the travelers use Uber to navigate the busy streets of Kolkata, highlighting its convenience and ease of use as a mode of transportation in a foreign city.

💡Flower Market

A flower market is a place where flowers are sold, often in large quantities and variety. In the video, the travelers visit one of India's largest flower markets in Kolkata, which is described as a chaotic yet beautiful scene filled with vibrant colors and the scent of pollen. It represents a sensory experience that is central to their exploration of the city.


Biryani is a flavorful Indian dish made with fragrant rice, meat (such as chicken or mutton), and a blend of spices. It is a staple in many parts of India and is often associated with special occasions. In the video, the travelers try biryani at a local restaurant, comparing it to the versions they have had in the UK and appreciating the authentic taste and moist texture.


Dhal, also known as lentils, is a common ingredient in Indian cuisine and is often served as a side dish or a main course. It is made by cooking lentils with spices and can vary in taste and consistency. In the script, dhal is mentioned as a part of the meal the travelers have, adding to the overall culinary experience in Kolkata.

💡Garlic Naan

Garlic naan is a type of Indian bread made with garlic and often served alongside curries or rice dishes. It is a popular choice for adding flavor and texture to a meal. The travelers in the video are impressed by the fluffiness and taste of the garlic naan they try, which stands out as a memorable part of their dining experience.

💡Allergic Reaction

An allergic reaction occurs when the body's immune system reacts to a foreign substance, causing symptoms such as itching, swelling, or difficulty breathing. In the video, the travelers are cautious about potential allergic reactions from the colors (used for festivals) they encounter on the street, highlighting the importance of being aware of one's surroundings and sensitivities when traveling.

💡Market Stalls

Market stalls are temporary or permanent structures where vendors sell goods, often in an open-air market setting. The script describes the travelers encountering various market stalls in Kolkata, selling items like flowers, fruits, and local products. These stalls contribute to the lively atmosphere and cultural experience of the city.


Traffic refers to the flow of vehicles on roads and is often associated with congestion in urban areas. The travelers in the video mention the heavy traffic in Kolkata and their strategy for navigating it, such as using Uber to avoid negotiating prices and dealing with the chaos.

💡Cultural Heritage

Cultural heritage encompasses the traditions, history, and artifacts that are passed down through generations and contribute to a society's identity. The video showcases the cultural heritage of Kolkata through its markets, food, and architecture, providing the travelers and viewers with a deeper understanding and appreciation of the city's rich past.


Traveling is the act of moving from one place to another, often for the purpose of exploration, leisure, or adventure. The video script follows the travelers as they navigate the unfamiliar environment of Kolkata, encountering new experiences and cultures. Their journey represents the broader theme of discovery and personal growth that comes with traveling.


Arrival in Kolkata, India, and the feeling of being on another planet due to the city's unique atmosphere.

Kolkata is the fifth most densely populated city in the world, promising an eye-opening exploration.

Using Uber as an easy way to navigate the bustling streets of Kolkata.

Experiencing the local transportation culture, including the use of horns as a form of communication.

Becoming a tourist attraction themselves, with locals wanting photos with the travelers.

Exploring downtown Kolkata, starting with a huge bridge and vibrant market stalls.

Observing the local barber giving a shave, a common sight in the city.

Visiting one of India's largest flower markets and the sensory experience it provides.

The challenge of crossing the busy roads of Kolkata and the local advice for doing so.

The sensory overload of the flower market, with its pollen and bustling activity.

Discovering the city's markets, which seem to be on every street, selling a variety of goods.

Enjoying a famous local biryani, which is a significant part of the Kolkata culinary experience.

The restaurant with 7,000 Google reviews, indicating its popularity and quality.

The size and quality of the biryani, which exceeded expectations and compared favorably to versions in the UK.

The fluffiness and taste of the garlic naan, which stood out as particularly noteworthy.

The overall satisfaction with the lunch experience and the anticipation of future culinary adventures in India.

The anticipation of driving their van, Trudy, across India and the excitement it brings.