I couldn’t resist! I apologize to my sister and my entire gang of cousins and friends staying abroad in advance. I know should not have an opinion before trying it for myself but I have often been wary of moving abroad for 3 reasons. Firstly and most importantly, I would hate to be treated like a second class citizen. To have the fear in my head that the laws can change anytime and I would again need to prove myself for merely living there. Secondly, I am spoiled rotten in India. I have a cook, a gardener, a housemaid, a car cleaner, a dhobi blah blah blah. I am unfortunately too used to lying in my bed and ‘managing’ to get work done!! And lastly on a lighter note, I go crazy when anyone comes back to India and go on and on about what is wrong here – the pollution, the poverty, the corruption, the traffic, the heat etc. It’s something that is part of this country and we live with it. India is changing – constantly. It is something that I believe in very strongly and am proud of the visible progress I see around me every passing year. America gained independence 233 years back. It’s just been 62 years for us. Give us time.
I would love to do a stint in another country, live in different cultures. But the urge is just not compelling enough to pack my life here and go blindly in the hope of a better one.
Anyways, what brought on this post actually was this bunch of hilarious inputs I was reading on Rediff on ‘How not to be attacked in Australia’ spurred by the recent gory racist attack on an Indian student in AUS!! And believe it or not, the inputs were from people who have lived in Australia since a long time and are settled there. They all insisted that Racism is just not a ‘very’ common phenomenon but we must be ‘careful not to offend locals’.
Here are my favs:
1.After 7 pm, always travel in the first compartment of the train (Imagine the chaos that would happen in Mumbai trains if people followed this advice)!!
2.Try not to walk alone or travel alone on a Friday or Saturday night (so have a weekend pal to drive with coz driving alone on weekends can get you hurt)!
3.It is even possible that when you are waiting at road intersections people including girls may shout, gesture or thrown beer bottles or foodstuff at you from there cars. My advice is to be relaxed while walking alone. (are you kidding me??? Throw bottles at you?? Did you write this with a straight face?? Let them try that with me in Delhi! )
4.Since, we cannot take matters in our own hand, as we are foreigners here, its better to be vigilant & report anything that may affect me or someone else. (so let us put our heads down and pray!)
5.Most of the brawls in pubs happen either due to excessive drinks or do to matter relating women. So kindly avoid both. (what? Pubs, women or drinks?)
6.Late night fights happen due to money and need for cigarettes. Have $5 in your pocket. If you sense trouble, drop the money before them and run away from them. Most likely they would pick up the money and go away.(don’t blame us for giving money to beggars then. At least they don’t knife you for it)
7.Always remain friendly and converse with them in English. Even if you are with your friends/ peers who share a different/ common language, please converse with each other in English when in public places (This would be crazy to implement in India. Imagine Bengalis, Gujaratis, Punjabis – everyone only allowed to talk in hindi! Why go there, why don’t we shun European tourists when they chat in French or even the Russians or Spanish? Only talk in Hindi please!!)
8.And my absolute fav - The local young generation works on weekly wages and the amount they get on Friday spend on booze and clubs. I have seen them go berserk on Friday and Saturday night and damaging even the national property leave alone attacking Indians. The best way to avoid is to stay away during these timings and stay put in hotel or your room. (ummmm….so please only sit at home and watch TV on weekends!!)