Tuesday, July 24, 2007

10 Things I hate About Living In India

I have fallen into a bad habit of posting something about every eight days. I really do mean to post more often. The problem I face is that I am trying to keep this blog about our family's experiences in India. So for instance today I shouldn't write about how much I loved Harry Potter 7. It isn't an India related topic. But I really did love it.

As I was fretting over what to post this week I had several small ideas, but no big ones. So I have decided to compile a list. Now I recognise that this is not a positive or uplifting list, so next week I will even the score with "10 Things I Love About Living In India". For now, here are the things I hate in no particular order.....

1. Water Supply - How I miss drinking from the tap. How great it would be to shower and not worry if some water seeps into your mouth. How fabulous to rinse your toothbrush out in running sink water instead of bottled. Do you have any idea how hard it is to retrain yourself not to rinse your toothbrush out in the sink water? It's hard!

2. After Rain Smell - You know how it always smells so good after it rains? Not here. Here when you walk outside after a good rain, it just smells like wet garbage. I had no idea this would effect me emotionally, but I really miss that smell.

3. Water Problems - We have had more problems with water since we got here than in the previous 17 years of marriage! The latest one is a large (and getting larger) wet spot on our Living Room wall. It took us several tries to get someone to take this seriously. I think when the two shades of fuzzy mold (or mildew) started cropping up, it really helped our case.

4. Indian Sweets - It seems that a lot of Indian sweets and desserts are based on curdled milk. I am not kidding. Frankly, they are just plain nasty. Seriously how does one come to the decision that balling up a lump of curdled milk and pouring syrup over it will be a good thing?

5. News Paper Articles - News articles here are written in a very annoying way. I will make up an example for you. It was reported that the young girl was seen dancing around the pool and acting very strangely. "She was dancing around the pool and acting very strangely." said Deepak Sihng. This happens in every article. I once read an advice column where the first three paragraphs of the answer was the advice guru restating the situation in three slightly different ways. By the time I read the actual advice I had heard the problem four times (including the original letter asking for help). It is a silly thing, but after 5 months, it starts to get on your nerves.

6. Begging - Begging is huge here. They come out into traffic to knock on your window. The children try to hold your hand as you walk down the street. Some will actually try to block your car door as you are getting in so that you can't get in until you have given them money. And if you do give them something you had better run. Every beggar within 100 yards will be on you in a flash. Don't even think about turning them down after you gave to someone else. And, it had better be the same amount or more or you will have some very angry beggars.

7. Naked Men - Actually I should say "Seeing naked men with 7 kids in the car". You would not believe the ruckus that follows a naked man sighting. "EWWWWW!" "That man was naked!" "Oh gross!" "I saw his you-know-what!" "He was pooping outside!" "Did you see that?" "What?! I missed it!" "Look. Right there, see the guy with the basket on his head? Right behind him. See? You can see his 'hmm-hmm'" "Oh! Now I see it! Mom, do you see it?" I am just waiting for the day my four year old son drops trow and squats at the park. We all know it is coming, it's really just a question of when.

8. Beautiful Women - I am telling you, India got more than their fair share of beautiful women. Not only are they gorgeous, but they do not leave the house unless they look fabulous. Hair, make-up, jewelry, clothes, cute matching shoes, all must be in place. I swear, I think they even iron their perfectly factory faded jeans for casual days. And only men wear tennis shoes. These women wear spiked heels everywhere. And the jewelry! Don't even get me started on the jewelry! I seriously don't need this kind of pressure.

9. A Company Life - I am sure that it is worse for us because we are here for work and we live in a company house. However, it seems that employers have a lot to do with their employee's personal lives. They want to be the one to take you to the doctor. The doctor tells them how you are doing. They have the guards call the office directly when there is a problem instead of telling us. It's almost as if they are keeping tabs on us. We found out a while ago that they record and listen to all phone calls made to or from the office and the calls made on the cell phone that Mr. Smith got through them. I have wondered if they have access to our computer since they arranged for our Internet and set up our computer for us. Hi guys!

10. Indian Stretchable Time - The cable company in the US has got nothing on these guys. We broke a glass shower door. A man came to the house and measured the door and said he would be back tomorrow with the glass. About a month later he showed up with the glass. Everyone swears they will be back tomorrow to finish the job and they never are. I am not exaggerating. In all the time we have been here we have never had someone actually show up on the day they say they are going to.


Hunnydu72 said...

First, holy cow!! Men squatting in parks n'stuff? Are there no public restrooms? Are they deranged from the heat? What's with that?

Second, I hear you. I keep thinking I'm going to change my life, go live in a different culture, be a person of the world and yet right now my car is being fixed (wacky gas leak, getting 50 miles to the tank) and I can't even think of taking public transportation, much less do something healthy like ride a bike. I'm just frozen, awaiting the fate of my car and my wallet. I think if I had to live in India for 3 years their psychiatric care would have to be as inexpensive as their health care.

Third, water....ewwwwwwwwwww.

Aunt Carol said...

"The company"... Remember when you took me to see the movie "The Firm"? Check for microphones in the house. hehehe

As for the candy, if it so bad that could be good for the waist line.


shauna said...

There seems to be a water theme here. And the beautiful women would make MY list.

When I was in Japan I was shocking to see men standing against some public wall to take a leak. I nearly fell off my bike the first time I saw that.

Here's to next week's list of 10!

Anonymous said...

Firstly, I hope you know that when you post something on the internet it can be seen by ANYONE, even Indian women that right now are highly offended by most of the things you have said.

I understand your first three problems, they seem relatively fair.

If you don't like our indian sweets then by all means refrain from eating them! Calling the food that I eat and buy on a monthly basis "nasty" was really upsetting.
"Seriously how does one come to the decision that balling up a lump of curdled milk and pouring syrup over it will be a good thing?" is what you said. Honestly this is one of the rudest comments I have ever read. That is our traditional food you are talking about! That is so racist and offensive.

If the newspapers really bother you then don't god damn read it.

What you said about beggars was just plain awful! Imagine you are on the streets of a poor counrty with no money and 7 children, tell me that you wouldn't ask people for money. Sorry hungry homeless people were such an inconvenience to you!

How many naked men did you see? If you saw them everywhere then okay but if you only saw one then seriously you should shut up and get over it.

Your problem with beautiful women is absolute bullshit! What is wrong with wanting to look beautiful? Basically you're saying that we should get ugly and look unpresentable just to make you feel less ugly, where's the justice in that? You are probably from America, aah yes America, where women get botox, breast implants and plastic surgery.

So you dont like our cmpany lives? well I understand that you found it annoying, but you should understand thatthey care about you.

Now for my comment on your final dislike about us. Incase you havent realised, these kinds of things happen in every country! I am currently living in Australia and this happens constantly. It's not just India!

In conclusion, I think that you are rude, racist assholes.

Anonymous said...

Are you kidding? These are not racist statements in the least! This is her opinion. Which she has a right too. What if she was in Italy and didn't like certain aspects of it there and complained. Duh. So then she is a racist? She is just talking about things in the country that are annoying, she isn't saying Indian people are a bunch of winy, ugly idiots. That could be racist and even then I don't really think so. I hear all the time people talking about how stupid Americans are. How mundane, idiotic life is here in America and some of the people saying this are Americans. Does that make them racist? No of course not. You seriously have some issues.

Amanda said...

Yes, dear Mr. and Mrs. Smith, please ignore the pointless venom comming from that september 2011 post. The way you posted was as tame as tame could get before it ends up as an essay on the colour of concrete.
Nothing you said was racist and you are fully allowed to say what you did, as it was your opinion and it is important to you to share it. Don't let anyone tell you your tame, tame opinion is anything anyone should be so damned upset about.
Also, could the overly offended anonymous poster have the guts to post her name? You are so prepared to rant and rave at the brave folk posting on the internet, but YOU hide in the shadows - like a coward - for comfort as you cry over the TINIEST critisisms of your country.
(Hell, the beauty part could have been far more easily taken as a COMPLIMENT that india is full of well groomed and well mannered beauties. You're a fool to be insulted to the extreme you are over that. Also, you lose all higher ground on the (non-existant) racism front by turning around and trash talking Americans.)
My name is Amanda Marcinowski and I live in Canada.

James Smith said...

Well Mr Smith. If you don't like india .. ##### urself and stay in your country.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Anonymous on September 2011. Stop being so mean!!

Anonymous said...

Hey, I liked the post. What's wrong? I am an Indian and I am not a least bit offended.

Anonymous said...

When I lived in India, I looked everywhere for cooked chicken like KFC. I couldn't find it. India has boycotted a lot of American companies from doing business in India. The apartment where I lived lost the master key to my apartment so I made a copy for the owner only. Soon, I noticed several things were missing from my apartment. What's funny is they never took expensive things like computers, etc. Only cheap things like candy bars, soap, etc.