“Our nation, though it has no drinking water, electricity, sewage system, public transportation, sense of hygiene, discipline, courtesy, or punctuality, does have entrepreneurs.” – From “White Tiger” by Aravind Adiga

This spirit of the entrepreneur is the thing that left the deepest impression on me from my time in India.

Adiga is right in his book. The Indian government has failed them. There is no health care, social security, clean drinking water or much of the basic infrastructure we expect our government to provide. Yet, the Indians have not given up. They find a way.

They might be picking rags out of the trash, they might be running a tourist scam, they might be pedaling rickshaws, they might be trying to hustle you trinkets you don’t really want. It doesn’t really matter.

They find a way. They figure it out.

Some of their solutions may not be palatable to us. Some of their solutions may piss you off … But you have to appreciate that they are just trying to survive.

Everyone you meet in India is an entrepreneur, from the kids on the street onward, up to the old men selling scrap metal. I personally found the enduring spirit of wanting to survive to be beautiful and moving.

This was my favorite thing about India.

As to my least favorite thing…

Public urination.

I saw more men and their private parts than I care to say. My eyes might be bleeding from it.

You are on the bus, looking out the window, oh wait, Crap. A man pissing against the railing.

You are on the train, spacing out and you see a man walk towards a pile of rubble. What is he doing, you innocently wonder? S*it. I did not need to see that.

I understand there are very few public toilets. The sanitation standards are low, and personal hygiene is hardly an important issue. But peeing anywhere and everywhere that is convenient can hardly be the solution.

Tell me your thoughts on the spirit of the entrepreneurs. Tell me your thoughts on the solution when the system has failed you.

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