I would love to write an individual blog post about each of these incredible phenomena I that I have come across in India, but I just can’t understand them! Here’s my best attempt at explaining them!
|Which one of these is not like the other?|
1. Henna Hair – People here think that dying your hair will make your hair fall out, so when they go gray instead of using traditional dyes, they use henna, which turns white or gray hair bright orange. I do not understand how orange and red hair is more desirable than gray but everybody seems to think it looks good, even in their beards!
2. The Dirty Shoe – In order to balance out the karma on things people add something ugly on top of something beautiful, most commonly the colourfully painted cargo trucks often have a dirty shoe tied to the front grill. Another example is if your baby is too beautiful and everybody keeps saying how cute he is, the parents will colour a black dot on his cheek or tie a black string around his wrist so that nothing will happen to him for being too good looking!
3. Ear plugs do not exist here – WHY!? This is the loudest city ever! I suppose people are just used to it now, but with all the honking and fireworks and endless festivals I was really hoping that someone would have sold me some.
4. The Head Bobble – what does it mean? My friend thinks it means yes, which I can’t believe since it is rarely accompanied by a smile. I think it means “maybe”, or at least not “no”, or they could just be making fun of me. Either way I am beginning to catch myself doing it!
5. Fashion – There isn’t much to fashion here, but when I asked why I keep seeing people wearing bell bottoms, I was told that there are different fashion styles for different classes and right now the lower class is retro! I guess that means that the higher class is western?
6. People don’t give change – Not because they don’t have it but because the next guy won’t give change. So if I don’t have the correct amount for the taxi I am taking, I have to run up and down the street looking for someone to break my bill.
7. So many light switches – I am not sure if they just don’t bother taking down old light switches or if they actually all work. However there must be twenty switches in a room that has one light. Here’s more on the subject.
8. Public Property – Nobody respects or contributes responsibility for communal spaces, only adds to its piles of garbage, even though those same people use them to play or work if not to live.
This list is a working progress, as I am sure there will be plenty more complexities that are beyond my grasp in this country! I will be filling them in here as I encounter them. In the mean time, please let me know of anything that confused you while in India!