Monday, August 12, 2013

Story time: Jerks in India

Noted jerk: Django, my host's dog

Sometimes when I am traveling (or living in general) something very extraordinary or hilarious and awful happens to me and I have no one to tell, so I just mull over it for ages and stew it like so much fine chutney. I often think I can't blog about something because so much time has passed and a blog should be like a some kind of current events show. This is nonsense. Actually a blog is a highly self-indulgent piece of loveliness and I can do what the hell I want, so, without further ado - 
A TRUE STORY: I was boarding my plane in Kolkata, India and I couldn't help but notice three very loud, obnoxious other tourists. There were two guys and one girl. One guy was wearing ali baba pants (urgh), the girl was wearing an incredibly skimpy singlet top and a bandana combo (fine, but not fine in India) and the other guy was wearing A FEDORA. It was like the holy trinity.
Anyway, they had been yelling around and generally making a scene, as western tourists in developing countries are wont to do. I had been trying to avoid them, in the time honoured tradition of white people everywhere (avoiding other white people), but my plane was boarding right beside them so there I was. Pretty much everyone else on my flight was Indian, and noticeably uncomfortable in the presence of such openly hostile, badly dressed westerners. We were lining up and Fedora guy yells out : "HEY, nice shoes!" indicating a young Indian man in front of me in pointy, shiny business shoes. The Indian man smiled and shuffled awkwardly. As he turned away, Fedora guy mouthed the words "NOT!" to the group, and winked at me, and then the all three of them fell into loud, bullying laughter. The Indian guy shrank into the floor.
I gave them all my strongest, meanest look, but I couldn't bring myself to say anything because I wasn't 100% sure the young Indian man had noticed and I didn't want to draw the bullying to his attention if he hadn't. 

Gah! Anyway. FEDORAS!* 

* Some people who wear fedoras are nice. Sometimes they look good. However, 90% of the time it's this (and I challenge anyone to make the deadly combo of cargo shorts and a fedora work). 

Wasn't that story disgusting? Allow me to cleanse your palate with these pictures of a walk Django took me on through the betelnut orchard. He led me to a house where the people made me tea and we all sat around smiling at each other (since we did not have a shared language). 

Also, here are some supremely non-jerky people I hung out with in Gorubathan. I miss them. The first girl, pictured, is Puja and she was probably my favourite person in the whole village. She wasn't one of my students, but her family ran the only cyber cafe, so naturally they saw me pretty much everyday. I even had to sleep at their house one time due to storms. 

When I came to say good-bye she cried and, then, so did I. 

Puja with her siblings

1 comment:

RJF said...

I am very glad you ended the post with something lovely. How could that fedora guy have been so mean?