Saturday, July 24, 2010

The only thing I truly dislike about India

I'm just going to take this opportunity to kind of rant a bit. For the most part I am having a great time, but I have identified the root of any of my annoyances.
Most of the things that are different between India and America are things that I understand. You know, arranged marriages, I disagree with them, but having been given their perspective on it I understand why they do it. Bollywood films? They are vastly stupider and more superficial than American films, but I understand why they enjoy them. Heck, I enjoy them too. Hindu religion? Their school system? Psycho driving? I can rationalize all of them
But I have pinpointed the main thing that they do that defies all reason for me. and it encompasses most of my main problems so far.


They always wear pants. Probably 99 percent of Indians outside are wearing heavy jeans. Why do they do this? It's 85 degrees outside with horrid humidity! Formality? That's not really the reason because their jeans are not formal at all. Usually they are rattier than mine. In the home they wear a little more normal clothes, but surely they are just making themselves more uncomfortable. I mean, they all say that they are as irritated by the heat and humidity as I am.

They have hot milk. They offered me some corn flakes with hot milk. It was one of the more revolting things that I have ever eaten. From a taste perspective, I can see that in some twisted, tortured group of taste buds it might be possible to enjoy hot milk. But this is INDIA. They are right next to the equator. Hot milk is not a good idea.

Now they drink plenty of water, but their idea of a thirst quencher is searingly hot tea and coffee. I love tea and coffee. It tastes great here, especially their ginger tea specialty. But it heats ones body up. There is no reason, in this stifling heat, that they would want to do this. It's not like they don't drink water, and they also have glass-bottled Coke in much greater quantities than are available in the United States. But I think that most Indians, given the choice, would prefer to scald their tongues on tea than drink something that might bring their body temperature down to a healthy level. This is inexplicable.

And then there's the food. I must first mention that out of necessity I am happily getting used to it. And it is delicious. Sometimes. But it does not compensate for the weather at all. They have very few cold foods. It's all spicy and/or very hot (which is a different kind of unpleasantness than spicy). Adjusting ones food for the weather is the only area where I would say that the United States actually does something better than India. During winter we serve hot dishes, soups, hot chocolate. We adjust for the cold. In the summer I suppose we grill, but we also have a lot of cooler foods like frozen treats and fruits. Mainly we don't go out of our way to make our food uncomfortable to consume.

Obviously, the Indians have adjusted to this over the millenniums of their existence, but I mean, humans all came from the same place. I am at a loss as to how these practices could possibly have been enacted in the first place.

1 comment:

  1. My mother, who was born in India, claims they eat hot and spicy food and drink hot tea because it causes them to break a sweat which will cool them off. It seems counter intuitive, but evidently it actually works. Either way, I'm sure you'll adapt to the heat in a matter of a couple weeks, rather than a few millennia, and most likely you'll grow accustomed to their food and drink in as little time too. The body is a wonderfully adaptive thing in that way.

    Keep up the great work on your blog!