I have had my breasts grasped by Indian men while walking, sleeping in an overnight bus, and seated by the window inside a moving train. In Hampi, when a male friend and I rode bicycles, a throng of twelve-year-olds abandoned their cricket game to accost us. He rode ahead as they high-fived him and shouted their love for him. One lifted my dress while another seized my breasts. I have had bug bites larger than my boobs. However, I am white, and white women are whores.
In ninety-nine percent of India, women and men do not demonstrate signs of affection. Men commonly hold hands while walking on the streets and beaches, and while seated in trains, buses, or restaurants. During movies, walking, conversing, or smoking, men caress and cuddle each other. On motorbikes and scooters, women sit sidesaddle and clutch the bike. Straddling a man or gripping his waist would denote slut.
In Goa, I purchased a silver anklet. An Indian man informed me two months later that wearing one anklet denotes prostitution. All Indian women wear an anklet on each ankle.
On trains, chai and coffee sellers will awaken you. It is not unusual for the vendors to rape your eardrums at four in the morning with foghorn cries of, "chaaaiiiii, chaaaiiiiiiii, chaaiii," "cooffeeee, cooffeeee, chaaiiii, chaaiiii." Train peddlers sell everything from newspapers, food and drinks, to fake gold watches, CD's, children's stickers, batteries, and gluttonies of items you couldn't invent uses for even if you were Santa Claus.
Price is always negotiable. Accommodation, material purchases, and even food can be bargained. What starts at twelve hundred rupees can often be bought for five hundred.
On buses, trains, or waiting for public transport, Indians do not read books. It is as common to see someone reading a newspaper as it is for a bear to trundle around hugging humans. A white woman reading a book does not indicate said woman being busy or engaged. Indian men will attempt to absorb you in conversation regardless.
Cows are everywhere - with a few minor exceptions. Cows triumph the road hierarchy. Then come trucks, cars, auto rickshaws, motorbikes, bicycle rickshaws, bicycles, man-powered rickshaws and carts, and, last, pedestrians. Oftentimes, as a traveler, when walking or bicycling, you need transportation as much as a fire hydrant requires a dog. Walking on Goan beaches, you will be asked ten thousand times if you need a rickshaw or taxi. If you're in a city and a rickshaw driver has seen you wave on the previous fifteen rickshaws, he will still stop and ask if you need a ride. If you answer no, the Indian head wobble surfaces.
The bobble-head appears in answer to every question. If you ask a restaurant if they sell beer, you'll get a head wobble. When inquiring if the transit halts at your destination: bobble-head. Result of asking a street vendor if they sell talking white tigers: head wobble. The head bob translates as yes, no, maybe, alright, greetings, and every other humanely possible use. The head wobble is as cryptic as my bra size.
However, everything is possible in India. Thus, there is potential for whatever you're attempting to accomplish.
Especially in the south, cows and squalid dogs are as common as bicycles. Arambol boasts a pig dog. Literally, a pig bred with a dog. Watch out for rabies. Additionally, cows adorn Goa's beaches. It is almost inevitable that you, someone you're with, or someone you meet will traipse through the sand and step in cow shit.
That's definitely India! Awesome.
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