Okay this post comes after a very very looong time. There has been so much on my mind and so much happening. Somehow just never got to it. Getting back to the observations of a desi in videsh. 🙂
Pursuing studies in a country which is not your home is a new experiences which both scares and fascinates you. I have been going through a similar experience myself. It is very often that what we read and expect is in fact very different from the reality.
In the east, a developed country is pictured as utopia which of course is far from the truth. They have many fallacies of their own. These countries may promise transport, health and other facilities around the clock but the quality suffers. Of course, when I talk about the quality I do not refer to the top-notch private health or transport services but those provided by the government.
The importance the British people give to issues relating to Health and Safety is commendable. Every building (at least those I visited) have clear instructions and safety equipment installed and well maintained. Apart from the health and safety issues, the way historic buildings are maintained is something we need to learn. Another thing that took me by surprise was the number of people who read. It would be common to expect people indulging more in some games on their iGadgets which is clearly not the case.
Listing some of the first things I noticed:
People have a great taste in shoes. From boots to high heels everything is plain AWESOME!
Women wear makeup in excess! I was taken aback to see the amount of makeup women here wear on a daily basis. What a colossal waste of time and money. No, I am not anti-makeup but tonnes of it everyday is surely going overboard.
The number of RATS!!! : The London Underground is a living example of how well they treat their dear little friend.
The number of sorry’s and please’s people use : Append or prepend any sentence with Sorry and/or Please
Curry: It is actually a little amusing when you ask British people about their traditional food. After Fish and Chips you hear Curry… Curry? Really?? Makes me smile. To be fair, the curries here taste nothing like the real stuff back in the east. In fact, on several occasions I have noticed that most (if not all) curries may be called different but they taste the same. The only few things that differ are the amount and type of colouring used; the salad it is served with; and the veggies in the curry. Considering how popular curries are, London is rightly called the curry capital of the world.
To order a regular burger or sandwich can seem more like an interview. As soon as you are done with one question the next one comes straight at you. Would you like brown bread or white bread? What sauce? What salad? What meat? I think having some standard configurations would make the whole process of getting a burger much quicker. After answering all those questions you might just want to get a drink! Coming to think of it now, may be that is what the intention is… 😀
Graceful Ageing doesn’t seem to be very popular. This is a guess I am making by the number of botox’ed faces I see.
Hopefully the next post wouldn’t be too long from now.
I don’t know how this thought came up but I do think it was interesting one…. This is not about why we ape the west or the cliched stuff! It is just about the differences…. That’s why I call it Dilemma’s of a NRI! 😛
Something I have never been able to understand about the way the human mind perceives things is that, why it always plunges to look for differences before discovering similarities? This makes the statement ‘humans are innately social’ sound plausible. If we humans were innately social beings, then wouldn’t we be looking for things that would help me identify with someone instead of the those that don’t? I just don’t seem to understand this!
(FYI, I am a north Indian born and brought up in South) For instance, when I meet someone from the south of India, they call me a North Indian while in the north i am known as a Madrasi. Who am I really? People in the south think I am not one of their kind while people in the north feel the same way. If this is the case in migrating from one part of the country to another, imagine migrating to another country all together! Phew! Another dilemma of a NRI, that which relates to what we love to have a big fat ego about-identity…
Ok, moving on… The next in the list is Arranged vs Love.This may not seem significant to a non-Indian but it makes a world of a difference here in India. Traditionally, a spouse is chosen by the family of the bride/groom. Many non-Indians have appreciated this because even if things dont go your way you always have your family to bank on and you WONT have to have sessions of “See… I told you” ‘s… It does remove the risk factor involved but what’s the fun! 😀 😛
Next being Wash Vs Wipe! 😛 Some people from the west are completely baffled seeing a bucket and a mug in the restroom and wonder its use while people from rural parts of the country do not get the logic of having paper in the toilet! Such a wide gulf even in following nature’s MOST basic rules…
Buckets Vs showers!
The MIGHTY Indian Bucket is the cynosure yet again! This is a mighty contender of essentials when it comes to the daily Indian routine. Even when it comes to the daily activity of bathing, the bucket makes its presence felt. Quite the contrary most english bathrooms lack this and rely heavily on showers.
Hand Vs Spoon
Coming to eating habits now… The desi Indian would any day prefer eating with their hand rather than using spoons, forks and knives… Even for me hunger is satiated only when I eat with my hand… I am a true DESI at heart! 😛
On the other side, the west beliefs are it is unhygienic!
There are a lot of other differences but I guess I will stop here. If you can come up with any others let me know…