Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Are you experienced?


With the release of the Eat Pray Love (or is it Eat Love Pray?) major motion picture ("The amazing adventure of a middle-class white woman who talked her publisher into bankrolling a scripted adventure"), India-tripping is set to become a middle-class fad for the first time since the days of the 70s Overland Chapatti Express.  Except this time, instead of tie-dyed trippies, it will be mani-pedi suburban women seeking "adventure."  

It's always fun to watch the first-timers, fresh off the plane and perfectly accessorized, stumble over the inconvenient realities India inserts into their internal movies (Internal movie script: "Here I am, in front of the Taj Mahal. No, the Taj Mahal is for tourists; I'm not a tourist! Here I am in my spiritual clothes, being spiritual in an ashram.").   

But before they make the great voyage, clutching hand-bound blank books just brimming with the promise of fascinating journal entries,  there are questions. Lots of them.  After reading the India travel forums Indiamike.com and Lonely Planet's Thorn Tree (India branch) for years, here are some of the best, along with some of the best responses. 

Top 5 Stupidest Questions Ever Asked on Lonely Planet's
Thorn Tree India forum or IndiaMike
(and I am not making any of these up)
5. "Can you get a Starbucks Chai Latte in India?"
-This one, actually, left even me speechless.

4. "Is is safe to be seen publicly reading a copy of Salman Rushdie's Satanic Verses"?
-This is India, not Saudi Arabia. 
-No. In fact, you will be publicly dragged into the maidan and flayed alive by the angry mobs.

3. "What is the language spoken by the Babas and Sadhus of India?"
-According to my inlaws, it's Rupees.

--Yes, that's the language and the new mantra too!
---I think you are underestimating the sadhus. I am sure they are multilingual, and their dialects includes GBP, USD, JPY, DM etc.


2. "Would it be socially acceptable for me to listen to a Walkman or I-Pod with headphones on a train in India? I know the people are talkative and they might consider it anti-social?"
-I'd like to see the Ipod that could stop an Indian from asking questions.
 

and Number One....
1. "Is it true that in the Madras Zoo, you can see a Tamil Tiger?"
-Yes, they are readily identifiable by the blood on their hands. 


So, there you have it.  With the imminent arrival of the ELPs (Eat Love Pray crowd), I look forward to a new and better crop of victims contenders. 

14 comments:

Linda-Sama said...

oh you snarky Miss Thing! ;)

putting this on my FB page, love it!

birds of a feather, dear.....

Becky said...

so funny! but isn't it good that all types of people can come & experience India?

Indiamommy said...

Very very funny. I especially liked the questions about chai latte's, walkmans and "tamil tiger". PLEASE! Are these people idiots???? LOL Well, I should be kind. There was a day when I would have asked some similar and embarrassing questions, but having spent four months in India the first time, then one month on other trips, I'm experienced! LOL

桂竹 said...

Constant dripping wears away the stone. 滴水穿石!加油!..................................................

Sirensongs said...

Hi Becky: Did anyone ever say it *wasn't* good, and don't you know satire when you read it?

The idea that new visitors to India are not "good" is your own interjection, entirely. While it's great that the newcomers even took trouble to go online w their questions - many would not - the questions themselves show a level of cluelessness that is humourous even to those who haven't been to India. Again, this is for readers sophisticated enough to appreciate satire.

Becky said...

It was a really thought-provoking post. I liked the phrase "inconvenient realities," because it struck me that life is often like that, not just in India. It does not always proceed according to our wishes or logic.

I also admit that I was very clueless when I first came to India, and still am. I have no idea why things happen the way they do here. (Or anywhere, for that matter!)

子帆 said...

God never shuts one door but he opens another. ........................................

彥安 said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
家瑋 said...

Make yourself necessary to someone...................................................................

Apoyando said...

Wow, loved reading it throughout :)

Isabel said...

Hi,

There are lots of good places to get your teeth done in Bangalore... don't know which to recommend. When I broke a tooth I got a crown put in at the clinic in my neighbourhood and was impressed with the result.

A friend got a mouthful of new teeth at Dental Lavelle: http://www.dentallavelle.com/

Isabel

Ajay Reddy said...

Hilarious!

Kunal Bhatia said...

This is taking it to another level altogether. But India being India, it'll all be taken in stride :D
- Mindless Mumbai

Anne said...

Very funny. However, as much as India insists that I develop a deeper sense of the ridiculous and acceptance, etc., etc., the newbies to India do the same thing. I was a newbie and had a migraine for weeks before actually leaving. India is not for all travelers.For me it has become a malady that is incurable.