Monday, October 15, 2012

Thoughts. With no continuity.

I'm not sure if people litter because there are limited municipal trash services, or if there are limited municipal trash services because people litter.

Perhaps as a consequence to a fading cultural standpoint of arranged marriages, the general shyness of Indian men toward women is pretty funny.

To induce Indian drivers -- primarily men -- to drive more slowly, advisory signs dot the roadsides in the towns and villages. Some are serious ("Better to be Mr. Late than Late Mr."), but others are comical ("I'm curvaceous, go slowly" and "Darling, I like you, but go slow.")

In India the vertical "yes" head nod is an odd angular nod. It also has a bunch of other meanings that are tough to pin down. There isn't a "no" nod; it's a shake of the hand.

Watching people eat soupy rice dishes with their hand (when spoons are available) is shocking. Reminds me of Jerry Seinfeld's stand-up, "Chopsticks."

There is a much more vague sense of personal space and ownership of belongings in India. Everything, from food to water to clothing, is shared.

Indian food is amazingly delicious but unhealthy.

When I asked a shop owner in Agra if he had a restroom, he ushered me outside and pointed to the exterior wall of his own building.

For all the commentary about declining social mobility in the US, in India so many people are destined from birth to lead a life of hard labor with no opportunity for education or advancement. One case in particular are the men breaking and shoveling stone on the high passes. Scarves on faces, pick axes in hand, they stop momentarily to stare as we drive by -- it feels like the Che Guevara / Chilean miner scene in Motorcycle Diaries.

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