In 2005 I went to India for the first time. I wasn’t sure how it would be - but I was amazed at the place, and just loved the people.
New sights, sounds and smells, definitely - but the overwhelming impression I came back with was of so many people living together harmoniously in what might be politely called very basic conditions. I take access to the fundamental necessities of life - as I see them - very much for granted. It was incredible to see whole families seemingly living on the street, individuals working so hard for minimum financial reward, and not just basic sanitation, but none at all.
On the other hand, I didn't once hear voices raised in anger, or children crying. There were so many smiles and I had happy conversations just about everywhere.