Is it just about my skin?

17 09 2010

I had a very interesting discussion with Ayush on Wednesday night… We went out for a movie and we were talking about relationships and why ours never happened how some people assumed it will. He is one of my dearest friends in India 🙂 I told him that I am never sure here if somebody likes me for me or just because I am somehow exotic in the Indian land. Well… picture that 😛

And then Ayush just said it… “It’s just about the skin! They will automatically assume that you are easy and we are sleeping together.”  I remember one incident in my first month here… we went to get some milkshakes and at the cashier there was this older lady staring at me with so much disapproval in her eyes that it felt like I was some sort of enemy coming to tempt Indian men… It’s impossible to mingle in this country, no matter how much I like to imagine I did, no matter how much I like to think that by now I am part of the scenery… I will never be!

I have a week and a half since I started taking the 5 rupee public bus again to go and come from work. I take it at the same hour and most of the time it’s full with the same people. There are 7 painful minutes in which I am pretending they don’t stare at me, in which I look outside the window and listen to my music. While people stare. Thank God not all of them. And don’t get me wrong, not all Indians spend their time staring at other people. And also don’t assume that only the non educated people do. When half of the bus just stares you down you do feel awkward. And I am one woman that spent 6 months in Ghana and used to walk for 25 minutes from work to the nearest bus station! It wasn’t like this and I was definitely not part of the scenery!

I was in the bus today and everybody was so very nice making room for me to sit down 🙂 Indian people, most of them, are really really nice. After 5 minutes, lot of traffic, it felt like somebody was watching me. Looking outside the window I see these two men, in their car, stuck in traffic, just staring at me. And I stared back. I thought that they will just turn their eyes from me, possible feeling embarrassed … They didn’t. And I am afraid I don’t have enough practice to keep doing it the way they do. After one painful minute I just started looking some place else. I am not capable to stare people down. And the 2 men probably enjoyed my discomfort.

India is so much more than people staring and drawing wrong conclusions. Cosmina and Cristi will be here in about 7 hours and I want them to see how beautiful this place can be 🙂 It’s hard when you are not home but I guess we all are learning day by day 🙂

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I won’t stop taking the bus. It’s cheap and fast and who is familiar with the Indian traffic knows how bad being stuck in the traffic is. Probably the Indian Government is not going to replace the little dirty bus with a fancy version in the next 6-7 months but I got used with it. Probably Calvin’s Dad from Calvin and Hobbes will say that it builds’ character 😛

Me… officially on holiday and happy 😀 Still, maybe somebody can give me some staring lessons 😛

PS: I dream to live in a world where people are just people and are judged upon their actions and not their looks, skin colour, nationality, ethnic group, etc. I dream to live in a world where people do bother to take a second look and try to understand the others, where empathy is more than just a word.

I am happy I went to Ghana and came to India. It does built character and the experience is so intense that you learn who you truly are and who you really want to be. I get tired sometimes, I complain most of the time but at the end of the day its a wonderful journey, my wonderful journey. I guess you can read books and watch Discovery but the world is more than that!





The Firsts Series – Indian buses, Indian heat, Indian Market :P

25 04 2010

So Saturday… hot like hell… Alice and I decided to go to Sarojini market and do some cheap shopping 😀 Yes, one of the many advantages of being a girl is the joy of shopping… Nobody can take that away from us 😛

So we took a rickshaw to go to the bus station because I wanted to see how it’s like traveling with the bus in India… I am not sure that I will try that again very soon…It’s not that the buses are bad, it’s just the fact that I might not be fit enough to survive the trip 😛

On our way to the bus station we had a very interesting encounter with 2 beggars that started to pinch us very painfully. At the beginning it was just one and when I wanted to give her money she called a second one so we changed our minds. Alice told me that if you give money to one of them, he/she will signal the others and then you will be surrounded. They were pinching us so hard that we just left the rickshaw and started walking. Making one thing clear, this was the first time in my 3 weeks in India that I had such an encounter. Delhi/Gurgaon is not full of beggars so I was kind of surprised!

Anyway, we reached the bus station and we waited patiently for the bus to arrive. And then the “fun” part began… Ten minutes after we started our bus ride I started feeling sick. It was the first time in my life when something so scary happened to me. I stopped seeing for about 5 minutes. I was totally aware of what was happening, but I couldn’t see a thing. Alice said that my face turned gray and my lips were blue. She took my hand and we went to the front off the bus and all this time I was saying to myself “Don’t panic, just don’t panic!” I was surrounded by shades of light and I do hope I will never experience something like this again. I remember trying to grab something just to hold onto it but it felt that there was nothing around me… Just like it came, it kind of disappeared… I slowly recovered my sight and I started feeling better. We got off the bus and took a rickshaw to Sarojini…

So I got sick in one of them 😛 They are pretty confy when you can actually see them 😛

Sarojini is quite a nice place with cheap and interesting stuff… Too bad that I started feeling sick again after half an hour! We went to a restaurant and I had something to eat and lots and lots of water… I am thirsty most of the time! In the end I told Alice to go shopping and I took a nap in the restaurant. I wasn’t feeling good enough to go shopping. Yes, I know it’s embarrassing to sleep in restaurants… I promise I will never do it again 🙂 But it did help me recover so, even if it was embarrassing, it kept me from worse possible things! In the end I managed to get some clothes but obviously it wasn’t the happy trip I planned before leaving the flat!

Another very interesting situation was the taxi one 🙂 We did laugh a lot because of it. We booked a taxi for 7 o’clock pm and when we called the driver he told us that he is waiting in front of store no 75. That was after we called him 4 or 5 times before and gave him instructions with the place he should come and pick us up. He even got instructions from a police officer… but of course, since he was native from Delhi, it was difficult for him to find the market!!! But going back to store 75, we walked till we got there and we started waiting…. And called again and again… until he finally had the revelation that he was waiting in another market…. So we finally left Delhi one hour and a half later and because of the traffic we reached Gurgaon around 9:30 🙂

So we survived 😛

Me happy 😛

PS: We went clubbing in Delhi on Saturday night and I did discover some interesting things… There are clubs were if u are not the half of a couple, you cannot get it… that is if you are a man! We did get in after all, we were 2 girls and 4 boys but I still find this weird!








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