Indian Moments, Part 4

[Today, I have a bad cold, with a sinus headache and running nose. The amount of mucous I’m producing is pretty epic. I’m trying to at least conserve mass, so I’m drinking lots of water.]
[At a pharmacy.]
Do you have Eriecedamol?
[I had called a local friend who pronounced this for me over the phone earlier]
No.
I have a cold, with a headache and running nose. Do you have anything for that?
[Goes and finds a box, and tears off a couple tablets, from the main aluminum board of pills.]
These are for cold.
[I examine them, and the box, and don’t find anything except for branding information. Not even dosage recommendation.]
What do these do?
These are for cold.
No, but what do they actually do?
For cold.
[Someone else is waved over, bringing another set of pills with them. Similarly, they tear off some tablets from the big aluminum plate. I look at the box, and the tablets, and again no dosage or description of what the medicine actually does. This one warns against overdose though, and mentions possible liver damage. But I can’t know what the overdose is if I don’t know the dose, right?]
What does this one do?
It’s for cold.
But, is it like a decongestant, or for headache?
It’s for cold.
No, but which symptom does it treat? Decongestant?
Decongestant.
(Suspicious.)
[I leave the pharmacy without medicine, vowing instead to sleep it off.]

Mr. White


I went looking for laundry detergent, and the only one that was less than a year’s worth of washes was this one. “Mr. White”, some powdered detergent that had a…er…white guy on it. Because he knows about whitening because he’s white. I am ALSO white, so I posed with him. We had a pretty white night together.

[In Mumbai]
[We are wandering near the gate of India, and end up talking with some locals who are also traveling there.]
I am trying to become an actor or model.
[He would actually do really well, I think. He has this effortlessly good-looking and relaxed appearance, with a few days of stubble and just-woke-up hair. Most guys strive for this.]
I really like your eye colour, is it sky blue?
I don’t really know my own eye colour. Uh, I guess so.
I wear contacts that look like that sometimes. I really like it.  

I swear I saw a tv program where an older police officer checked the ankle and leg region of a woman who had just fallen, for injuries. Meanwhile, about 4 of her friends stood nearby, sighing and nearly fainting. The officer’s hands were shaking nervously. Is this titillation?

[There is an expensive restaurant at a nearby mall called “Sahib Sultan” or something like that. Sahib is an old Indian word for white British person. I peeked my head in once, to see an Indian guy dressed up like a stereotypical British officer on Safari, with a full white moustache, matching khaki trousers and shirt, and a wide-brimmed safari hat. It looks as ridiculous at it sounds. To me, at least, it also comes off as kind of strange and offensive. If some foreign country occupied mine for a couple centuries, I would find it offensive to have a theme restaurant about them. Imagine having a Nazi-themed restaurant in Paris. Weird.]
[A few days later, I ask some of my friends.]
So, what do Indians think of Britain these days? What’s your relationship with theme? And what’s the deal with that restaurant in the mall?
They’re kind of a laughingstock. They’ve really declined.
They have one of the highest teen pregnancy rates in Europe.
All their best teachers and workers and scientists are Indian.
It’s pretty funny these days.
Huh, I didn’t even think of it that way.

[I’m at a open mic night, and there’s about 40 people there. I’m hanging out with some Indians, and one of the guys that’s running the night told me the group of 8 people near the front are American students on exchange.
Later, the Americans are speaking loudly and arguing about their bill, disrupting a guy who is playing a quieter song on stage.]
“*$&#ing Americans” I say under my breath.
The Indian-looking guy next to me turns to me and says “I know what you mean, man. I was born in the US and I know what you mean.”

[I’m going to be part of an improv performance on August 4th at Kyra (a bar) in Bangalore. It’s mostly a stand-up night, but they are opening with improv.]
[We meet in advance to talk about things.]
[Its a group of 4 Indian locals, 1 Indian who was born in the US and me.]
Sweet, we can have you play some hilarious ex-pat stereotypes!
Oh, I didn’t even know those existed or what they are!
(I still don’t know yet, but I’m super-excited.)

[I find out one of my Indian friends worked for one month in Seattle before coming back.]
So, driving terrifies me here (in India). I couldn’t think of even trying to drive here. How did you find driving in the US?
It was scary, man.
What? What?!?? How is that possible? It’s chaos here! Nobody follows any road rules!
[We’re actually in a traffic jam at the moment, which is why it came up.]
No, but see, in India, there are no rules, but the traffic flows, so everyone is constantly paying attention. Here, I’m used to, if I am ever lost, to stopping on the road and looking for signs or asking someone. Sometimes I might even need to back up. If you do that in America, people will honk at you. If you miss an exit on the highway, you have to drive like 20 minutes to get back to where you were. America is scary because everyone follows the rules of the road, and isn’t paying attention to anything that is actually happening.

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2 Responses to Indian Moments, Part 4

  1. Daniel says:

    I am really enjoying these! Keep them up!

  2. Fanny says:

    “Imagine having a Nazi-themed restaurant in Paris. Weird.”
    This actually made me remind that there used to be a Nazi-theme restaurant, not in Paris, but in Mumbai! It was called Hitlers’ Cross, renamed Cross Café (it might still exists). The news has been spread all over the world few years ago. (http://www.nytimes.com/2006/08/24/world/asia/24iht-fuhrer.html)

    I like the driving part. Your friend should never drive in Paris!

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