Friday is kind of my Monday, it’s the day I run errands, grab groceries, schedule appointments, etc. I am usually pressed for time so I needed a day that I could either go light and fluffy or more in depth depending upon my time allotment. Today, I woke up to rain…again. We have had a week of it and today was supposed to be relatively clear, however, the forecast has changed and I am opting to stay home since I really didn’t have anything pressing to get done and after a week of rain more today could result in flooding. I am not going to take a chance.
My original post (the one you won’t read because I deleted it) turned into a rant. It was very stream of consciousness and with my INTJ non-linear thought pattern went off in a myriad of directions. I could have edited for days and still it would have lacked a cohesive flow. So…I am going to try again.
On my Book Nook Thursday post I had made a statement about my current aversion to all things India, which admittedly is a bit dramatic. It isn’t really an aversion to all things. I have in the past stated that I have a love/hate relationship with India that had developed over my four year stay. There are things about India that I absolutely love and there are things that I abhor and then there are the grey areas that are a stalemate more than a game changer. Those grey areas fall into the category of cultural differences and sometimes they overwhelm me and start to creep into the area of things I abhor. I check myself, take a step back and remind myself that this is learned behavior literally and figuratively on all fronts. So, multiple parties involved and to share the blame.
Add that to my personal introverted preferences and sometimes I can come across as a harsh, bitter, shrew. I have even been called a racist (of course, the person that said this is a bit of a troglodyte and a family member). I have on more than one occasion admitted that I do have misanthropic tendencies. To clarify: a misanthrope is a person who dislikes humankind and avoids human society. A racist is a person who shows or feels discrimination or prejudice against people of other races, or who believes that a particular race is superior to another. In an age of over the counter DNA test I think that finding a pure race that could then be considered superior, is much like trying to fit a camel through the eye of a needle*. I, as of yet, have not tested my DNA but both of my parents have and between the two of them, my family has spanned the globe, surprisingly more so than I suspected. To hate a particular race would be akin to hating myself (and yes, I do realize that historically it has happened…most notably Hitler).
So, what I love about India is it’s people and what I hate about India is the exact same thing…it’s people. Confused? let me clarify…the mind-boggling amount of people which in turn creates a cacophony of noise in the form of traffic, music, construction, talking, etc., which individually broken down is fine, happening all at once at ear bleeding decibels is an assault to the senses and personally overwhelming and that is just the noise factor. Add all the factors of daily life into play and four years of it and it takes a toll. It is all that East Indians know. That is life in India. I went from my life, where I could go days without seeing another person to being daily crushed by crowds. Just as I couldn’t fathom the amount of people I would be subjected to they in turn would be equally freaked out over the lack of people where I am. I don’t think that my way of life is better it is simply different. It is the same here at home, I prefer not to live in the city…why?…too many people. It is a matter of numbers not race, religion or creed.
Add the right amount of exhaustion, ill health, and general stress into the mix and I admittedly will hate all of humankind indiscriminately. At this moment, things that remind me of my four years in Mumbai, India invoke a knee-jerk response. I understand that it will take time to recover. A car horn makes me cringe, a Bollywood Beat induces a headache, the smell of curry makes me nauseous. It is a matter of association. Over my four year stay car horns blared incessantly. This harkens back to a day when only the affluent could afford a car, honking is a communication form. Today, India has one of the fastest growing middle-classes and it seems everyone wants a car or a scooter and with that many people each with their own car, honking away…at all times of day and night…it is excessive. Even the locals have an anti-Horn-ok campaign going.
To those people that live in India this was a gradual acceleration of noise to me it was a sudden assault. Same with all aspects of Indian life. My system wasn’t used to having curry 3 times a day, everyday and it took a toll as did the use of fats (adds crucial calories to a sparse diet) and sugar (neutralizes the heat of chili) and how dairy is produced there (mostly unpasteurized and seldom kept at a safe temperature). I was sick quite often and now that I am home I am having to recover. During my last year there I lived on American junk food which only added to my health issues. I knew better than to do it but I was developing food phobias and my addle-brained, sleep-deprived, logic was, “better to deal with the devil you know than the devil you don’t.”
If it seems I am picking on India it is because that was where I lived for four years. Nothing more, nothing less. If I had been blogging five years ago my rants would have revolved around what I don’t like about America and now that I am back all those issues I had are coming back to me…so it is just a matter of time. I, personally, prefer Europe, it has a 90% compatibility match to my life philosophy, preferences and circadian rhythms.
Photo: Camels in the Rajasthan Desert. Rajasthan, India; 2016. Taken by Pamela with a Nikon 5300.
*Camel through the eye of a needle. Bit of a biblical reference that has caused some confusion throughout many a church bible study. The needle referred to isn’t the needle that we would use for sewing but a narrow opening in a gate and it is a metaphor for the improbable. It actually would be much like the threshold of a loading chute used for market animals, the smaller the animal the easier the task will be. A larger animal such as oxen, camel or elephant would require much patience and determination, probably more than is humanly possible and in some cases be nearly impossible.