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Is India is a good place to visit as foreigner?

Representation picture of Indian kids

This is a tricky question, and I suppose it depends on whom you ask.


I grew up in Jerusalem. One day, when I was in high-school, I visited a classmate in the hospital who had just been operated on because he was downtown when a suicide bomber exploded himself into bits and pieces -- the doctors spent hours removing shrapnel from his back, but he recovered quickly.

Many times, I couldn't go out because there were high alerts, not to mention the metal detectors at the entrance to every single shop or establishment in town, and even having to walk around with a gas mask a few times...

Other Places

I also remember traveling in Africa and South America when I could almost feel something dangerous thrumming in the air and felt anxious to get away from the street.


For the most part, India is the place I've felt the safest in, worldwide -- from the moment I landed there. I'm not kidding. But this comes with a caveat: I remember sitting in a bus that traversed the Leh-Manali highway and looking over the window to see sun-devoured carcasses of cars and trucks down the sheer precipice. I also remember taxi or jeep rides where the driver was so outrageously brazen in his reckless driving that I thought I wouldn't survive the trip. I remember burning waste and a feeling that the acrid, noxious fumes were chipping away at the natural defenses of my body. And, there were the female travelers who complained that they felt unsafe in many places, recounting how certain men preyed on them.

Dogs in Goa

But the greatest danger I've ever felt was when I was walking through the streets of Goa alone one night and a pack of haggard, cadaverous street dogs, fuming out of their frothing mouths, their small eyes shining an unholy black, growling and bearing their teeth at me, looking around as more and more joined them, all bold as brass, hunched as hunters and sinister as savages, were getting ready to attack me. There must have been at least fifteen of them, and I thought I would be torn to shreds in moments.

Then -- thankfully -- some primal instinct overcame me, and I started shouting at them at the top of my voice and flailing my arms around like some garish gorilla, and then hurled some stones in their direction. Oh, and, adrenaline coursing through my veins, I bolted for my life like a terrified Usain Bolt...


But apart from that I've always felt immensely safe in India, so much so that I forgot about the whole notion of "safe vs unsafe" and simply enjoyed being.…