Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Some things will never change

There are some things that will probably never change in India. I went to a store to buy dumb bells (didn’t know the guy selling them would turn out to be the dumbbell!).  I was looking at different weights and trying to decide between the heavier one and the lighter one. Talking to DH to see which one I should buy when, out of the blue the attendant comes up and provides me with his unsolicited “expert” advice. Madam, he says, if the weights are for you, you should buy 5kg. For women, that is enough. DH tried to intervene and tell him that if we needed his help, we will ask but he refused to back down. He had the audacity to smirk at me when I tried to lift the heavier weights to see if I could handle those. I was appalled at his attitude towards me despite the fact that DH was with me and asking him to back off. I can’t imagine going by myself and trying to make a decision without getting bombarded by his opinion of what I am capable of doing. DH’s response- he probably hasn’t heard of Karnam Malleswari J

Another time when I went out with a couple of other girls to a restaurant in Bangalore. The experience at the restaurant was great but we went over to a paan shop to get meetha paan later and there we were given the proper street experience you can expect for women. It was not too late in the night and yet I felt unsafe and couldn’t wait to go back to the safety of my house.
Passing the buck is another thing that exasperates me. Nobody is willing to take responsibility for their actions. Everybody from the maid to the cell phone company, from the property manager to the phone company has a reason for why they couldn’t perform their job as expected. And it is NEVER their fault. Apparently everybody would have done their job perfectly if only somebody else had not slipped up somewhere down the line.

My phone line would not have been down if only the old property management company had paid more attention to detail. Never mind the fact that the current company is doing the same thing. The plumber would have fixed the issues in the house if only the vendor would bring in the parts. The maid wouldn’t have had to take the day off suddenly if only her dad had remembered to tell her about the family reunion a week in advance. She could choose to say that she couldn’t make it at such short notice but of course it is inevitable for her to go. The traffic jam wouldn’t have happened if only the bus driver would have had the decency to stop a little further from the junction. Never mind the fact that the two wheelers are weaving in and out of traffic making it impossible for others to move much.
Oh, and everything always takes longer than expected. I guess I should just change my expectation. If the grocery delivery guy says the groceries would be delivered in an hour, I can expect them to be delivered after 3 hours. If they say 30 minutes, then there is a good chance it will never be delivered. I know that’s counter intuitive but in my experience, that’s the way things work.

A friend made a remark the other day that in India, we can expect the unexpected. I think that is true. The only thing is that the level of unexpectedness needs to be readjusted every so often J. That’s what makes life so interesting here…

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