a India Rant and Raves: April 2007

India Rant and Raves

Globetrekker's life in India starting Oct 06 ... a first hand account ...

Thursday, April 19, 2007

I'm an RNI, not an NRI

You know, people who moved out to stay in Australia, US, UK etc are termed as NRI = Non Resident Indians. I mean these people are usually viewed by the people here as like "higher class" as, first of all, the earn more, and are like exposed to the world etc.

Even then ladies families look for grooms to marry their daughters to, NRIs are like preferred.

And when these NRIs come back to this place to visit their families etc, they are like a locally made product that's undergone some transformation, well, especially if you have a picture of yourself standing in front of the Statue of Liberty for example.

It was often even heard that dowry prices are increased 2-3 times when they see that the groom is taking a picture of some exotic location or beside a good car, like a Mercedes.

Well, that's the way it works here.

So the other day just to make a bo liao joke out of it, I was telling someone, ok, I'm not a NRI. Instead I am a RNI = Resident Non Indian.

HUH? Not very funny right ? Never mind, go and sleep liao, 3am here.

Raam Raam.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

:: The indian head shake still baffles me ::

Coming close to half a year as a RNI (as opposed to NRI, anyway more about that later), most o the time I have managed to conquer the problem of "not understanding whether that head shake is a yes or no" situation.

This morning however, was a disaster. At 11am (ok, maybe I woke up too early!), I walked into my favourite BAKES and BEANs cafe (which by the way is the only place in town that serves decent Italian and other eats like Greek Pasta, a decent Latte etc), yea so I walked in, everyone was like busy cutting vegetables, one was staring at the TV, one was sweeping the floor. I mean, they must know when someone walks in through the door right? For like 30seconds, I was trying to grab the attention of any of the nonchalant folks there, I'm quite bad at it I think.

When I finally got hold of the eye contact of one of them I ask him, "Are you open?, Can I get a Latte?", he gives me this 'actually I also don't know if we are open' look. Then he shakes he head. I ask again "I mean, are you open, can I get a Coffee, a Latte?", he shakes his head, blabbering something in Hindi (or Punjabi I don't know).

Actually I still did not get the answer I wanted. I asked for the third time. Then he motions to someone, apparently his superior, and they blabber among themselves like saying "hey theres' this irritating Chinese guy asking for a coffee when we are still cutting vegetables and watching TV, shall we entertain him?" kind of banter. The superior comes to me, shakes his head and then blabber in Hindi again.


In the end I had to use sign language, showing "open" as in seperating my hands, or "closed" as in closing my hands to depict whether the store was open or closed.

Well, anyway to cut the long story short, I got my coffee, 36INR (about sgd1.20), decent Latte.

And guess what, outside the store, the sign read "Open 10am - 10pm"


Tuesday, April 17, 2007

OK, here's 5 mangoes in exchange for 5 Harleys :::::

So, it seems US is going to taste Indian Mangoes again after a 18 year ban, umm, interesting. In exchange for.... Harley. Way cool !

Check out this news article in ST.

Well, one thing I know for sure, if I can exchange 1 Harley for 1 mangoes, I've got 5 mangoes ready on hand anytime !

Monday, April 16, 2007

The new gourmet coffee joint in ATQ !!

This is phenomenal. Now I don't have to contend with the "coffee" and the "ready made coffee" dilemma.

Good news is, 2 good "BARISTA" coffee joints just opened in the lazy city of Amritsar. One is on the way to work, one is a short 5 min detour away. But what the heck, at 45INR (sgd1.80) per latte / cuppacino etc, I'm not complaining.

Well, the standard is still sgd1.80 also though, not really the nice ones that you can find along any street in Melbourne, but well, give them some time to get it right. :oP

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Can I have your "good" name please ?

It's funny, again a figure of speech and culture, people here ask you "Can I have your good name please ?"

What the heck is a good name ?

I mean, typically we would say "How do I address you ?" or like "What is your name please ?" kinda thing.

But well, yeah, "Can I have your good name please ?"