Monday, March 30, 2015

The many trials of India

First I want to say thanks to all my friends and family who cared and called and emailed and helped me to escape the inferno of the country of India. I'm safe and sound!!!

Things I won't miss:

The Trash:  There is trash everywhere. From the moment you walk outside you walk on it, in it, around it, through it. It's disgusting how little the people care about their own home. That word home has a double meaning because so many Indians live on the actual streets and the trash is right there in bed with them. I'm glad I'm not there during rainy season. I can only imagine how much worse the stench when the trash is soaked in vile water and heated to the high summer degrees.

The Spit:  It's a habit to spit all the time in India. Not just for the men, but the women do it too. If you dare to look where you're walking, you'll quickly wish you had smaller feet because it's impossible to avoid all the spit balls. Many men chew various tobacco products and so they spit that out consantly. The spit puddles vary in color. I've switched sides of a rickshaw as we drove down the street in hopes the wind wouldn't bring any of the spit back inside onto me. Unfortunately, rickshaws are half the width of a normal car so there isn't much room to move from one side to the other.

The Stares:  I was accustomed to the stares in Korea from the men and the women, but the stares in other Asian countries are mostly curious stares. I've stared right back for half a minute or more at Indian men and see the evil thoughts as they never break their glance. They have no shame in their thoughts toward me, even when it's obvious I see them staring and know what they're thinking. They take pictures, but not of my face. They touch, but not my arm. The balance I learned of staring back enough so they know I'm not weak but I don't want to fight was for survival.

The Noise:  I wore a pair of ear plugs every time I left the house and sometimes even inside the house. That is how loud it is. The parties, the weddings, the festivals, the holidays, the various religious ceremonies, and the car horns all are going all the time. The windows would shake. My body would vibrate from the intense level of sound. Car horns are used for everything and sometimes I couldn't find a reason why one was being used other than maybe the driver hadn't honked in the last minute. The car horns are mostly after market installed so they are even louder. The best way to describe how I felt when I returned home every day was that I had been ear raped. The amount and level of noise even through ear plugs was violating in every way it seemed.

The Smoking:  I hate cigarette smoke and it's rampant in India. I suppose if I was born there and had no way out I'd want to kill myself too, so I can sympathize but I hated that nearly every place you went was saturated with it. The work office, the restaurant, the car, the hotel room, the dressing room, the apartment hall, everywhere stank of the stench of cigarette smoke.

The Lies:  The lies have no boundary. The lies are still the hardest thing for me to grasp mentally. The lies were the most toxic and destructive part of India. When someone lies in the US, it's not about everything and people eventually see it and the person is isolated because they are not trust worthy. In India, everyone lies about everything. I mean everything. I ask for a cup of coffee. Yes, I'm told. A half hour later I ask where it is. It's on it's way I'm told. An hour later I ask can they please reorder my coffee. Of course I'm told. This goes on until I get my coffee....three hours later. Every person I spoke with just lied about my coffee. Why? They were lazy. I wish that was a one time occurrence, but it's not. Unless I was able to go get my own coffee (often I wasn't allowed in the kitchen or there was no kitchen in sight), I had to beg, pester, annoy, nag people to get my coffee or whatever else I needed. Everyone lies about everything; even something as small as a cup of coffee.

The Laziness:  Most places in the world I've traveled and lived, people with down time will read a book, browse newspapers, watch documentaries. Not all the time of course, but it's a habit to educate and inform yourself (even if the sources are not desirable). I can't remember once seeing one Indian person sitting at the bus stop, taking a break on the sidewalk, relaxing in the shade, ever reading anything. There seems to be no desire to better ones self, to go above and beyond, to even do the minimum required. And this goes for management too. I watched countless managers get drunk, get high, get lost, etc. They didn't care a bit about their job or those affected by their actions. They were lazy above all else. It's a vile and disgusting thing to live with and see everyday and even more frustrating to try to work around.

The Stupidity:  There is no logic. There is no discussion. There is no knowledge. How many times did I repeat myself over and over to no avail? How many times did I become speechless at the utter stupidity that I heard or watched? The entire country is oblivious to the understanding of wisdom because it's so entrenched in it's lies. When there is no truth, knowledge is not even conceived.

The Lack of Law:  I've worked for many companies and in many countries and laws change but laws don't disappear. That's true until you get to India. India has no law. The law you see on tv, the law you read about, the law you believe is there is fake. It's a lie. There is no law. I fell prey to the lawlessness that abides there. I had to learn how to fight in the cock pit injured and bleeding. To live and work in a country of no laws is a scary, no, terrifying experience. Don't get me wrong, there are laws and lawyers and courts, but they aren't real. Years, many years will go by for the most major cases to see the light of day and even then, the law? Well, it's won't be just, because those giving it, they are just liars themselves.

The Disregard for Human Life:  More than once I heard the argument for my safety, that I was American. No one cared if I was safe or fed or happy because I was a person. The only concern is for media and the position India wants to have in the rest of the world. So many times I watched the disregard for human life. Whether it was one's own life or another's; the motto is, there are plenty of Indians to replace them. Life's existence revolves around this fact. Trains are a free for all, cars can hit you if they want, people don't ask if you need anything, and if you want something for your safety at work then be prepared to be replaced with someone who won't require as much cost or time restraint. It's a disgusting fact that no Indian life is worth anything, family or otherwise. After speaking with families, I realized that an Indian will even throw their own family away for their own gain.

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I thought there would be things that I would miss but after leaving...

I haven't missed anything.

The cheap food: the cheaper it is the more sick you get.
The cheap clothes: the cheaper the clothes the less time they last.
The warm weather: the air is so sticky you can't breath.
The opportunities: the opportunities are all just mirages.

I'm not one for show so I wasn't drawn to the endless stalls of fake jewelry that would stain your clothes and mark your skin. I wasn't interested in the glittery fabrics and stick on jewels. The more I saw it and the more others got caught up in it, the more I detested it.

The last gig I did in India almost didn't happen because I wasn't girly enough. When I prepared for a 6hr+ car ride, I dressed in comfy clothes without makeup. When the client's manager (or that's who I assume it was) saw me in the car before leaving Mumbai, arguments and phone calls were thrown down simply because I "looked like a boy".  In India, it's all about how you look. It's entirely a superficial society.

I am compiling short stories that I will post soon. This entry was simply meant to discuss the experience and also to let everyone know of my whereabouts and safety. The other purpose is that I hope it brings to light what the real India is like, and not what is put on for show for tourists. India is a terrible country with a lawless and selfish people.

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I met one genuine Indian friend in all my time there. I met one Indian man who didn't try to sleep with me. I met one Indian person who didn't lie to me. I met one decent Indian.

That is an appalling ratio. It's the truth of India.