Thursday, June 17, 2010
Anyway, seems as though half or more of all men capable of growing a mustaches (read: nearly the entire male population above the age of 16-18 or so) sport them. Good old fashioned handlebars in their full lip-caterpillar glory seem to be the preferred facial hair to sport. I’m definitely joining in with my own pencil ‘stache as soon as I can. Two of my younger cousins already proudly boast ones of their own- I can’t be shown up by them!
It’s probably not significant, but there’s even a line of clothing named “Mustache.” Unfortunately, their marketing folks missed a golden opportunity to have the most epic logo ever—a pair of golden swooping arcs (bit like an inverted McDonald’s logo) would have been great.
Incidentally, I went and got a combination hair cut/shave (with a straight razor! Best shave I’ve ever had, although I definitely was scared the guy might cut my throat accidentally or otherwise… shouldn’t have seen Sweeny Todd so recently)/massage (the barber/masseur decided to crack my neck without telling me at one point) for 35 Rupees- less than $1 US (Exchange rate tends to be something like Rs. 40-50 per $1 US)! TII, my friends- the cost of services, such as domestic help or hair cutting, is literally orders of magnitude lower than in the States. ^_^
This slightly skewed schedule, along with the ~10 hour time zone difference from the US is what let India’s IT/Telecom sector prosper so much recently. Just as American workers are leaving the office at 5PM US Time, Indian workers are coming into the office to continue projects and maintain services while their American counterparts sleep. In theory, anyway…
My cousins who work in the IT sector (seems like pretty much everybody about to go into college earlier this decade was studying computer science or information systems or something of the sort—4 of my cousins work in the industry, along with the 2 spouses that exist so far and 2 of the spouses’ siblings in that age group!) say it’s a pretty grueling lifestyle, but at the time was one of the best areas to go into for jobs at the time. Apparently, the IT sector already has peaked; now people are starting to shun it studying it for electrical, civil, and mechanical engineering and communications technology. I wouldn’t start short selling the IT firms anytime soon, but it might be a good idea to diversify your Indian Foreign Investment, folks.
Temperature reaches into the mid forties degrees Celcius (90-100+ degrees Farenheit) and stay there like unpleasant houseguests you just can’t get rid off. What makes things truly stifling is the alarmingly high humidity, which routinely creeps above 50%. Unfortunately, aside from rare cases, air conditioning is non-existent. You simply cope with a combination of ceiling and hand fans and not venturing out during peak heat hours (around 2PM). In fact, the majority of people take a midday siesta around lunch time at that time, with businesses closing down until about 5PM. To compensate, people tend to keep their shops open rather late to about 9PM and sometimes afterwards, when they eat an exceptionally late dinner by American standards. I’m rather fond of this schedule, as it gives plenty of opportunities for napping. TII, my friends. Perhaps I should simply go nocturnal…
At one point of the movie, Leonardo DiCaprio’s character brings up the letters “TIA” – standing for “This is Africa”—as a catch-all term for all of the things wrong with the continent and how it differs from its more “civilized” neighbors to the north.
I’m going to use “T.I.I” for “This is India” and use it in a more general way. Not just negatively, but also positively for things that I prefer over here in India. With any luck, I’ll be using TII fondly far more often than not.
I should mention that India has something like 20 officially recognized languages and 900 local dialects—the only places on the planet that can compete in terms of diversity are Africa, parts of South America, and Oceania. Not to worry—English should get you by the majority of India, and with some supplemental Hindi you shouldn’t run into any insurmountable obstacles.
While I’m on the subject, I seriously need to do some studying. At my nebulous grasp of somewhere between 1 and 3 languages, I’m the dumbest of my relatives! Seriously- not a single cousin speaks fewer than 4 languages well enough to get by, and one uncle knows no fewer than 8! At 5 languages each, my parents are in the middle of the pack, despite how well educated they both are.
For future reference: This blog’s update rate will be sporadic, paralleling my internet access.
Well, I’m here in