Monday, September 26, 2011

Are You Married?

India has been wonderful. By far one of our favourite countries to visit of all time. One of the things though, that will (almost) never fail to frustrate me though, is the staring. I know, I know, we look very white and pastey and we dress funny, this is true. And I'm not complaining about this, I'm just saying, so all of you at home can get a realistic picture of what travel in these parts is all about. Ok, maybe I'm complaining a little bit- but mostly I'm informing. ok? Anyways, I think the three months we spent in China was a good breaking-in for us. Now, sometimes I barely even notice that everyone in the entire train station is looking at me. E.V.E.R.Y.O.N.E. (Not complaining- just saying).

The reason I even write this is because a funny thing we've noticed -the staring here is different, somehow. Staring is staring, yes, but the feeling I get in India (creeped out) is not the same as in China (not creepy). Its (some) Indian men, of course, that are doing the creeping. They leer. Its like you can tell that they are unabashedly staring at you, and that there are little creepy wheels turning in their creepy little heads. And you don't want to know what is going on up there. Where as in China, they stared like their brains were turned off. In China it was like we were too foreign to comprehend. In India, they are creative.

The other thing is that there are far, far more Indian men out and loitering about. In restaurants, on trains, on the street-its men, men and men. Everywhere. I don't know where all the women are hiding. I'm not usually the kind of person who is intimidated by this sort thing, and its not that I am intimidated, per-say in India, but still I find myself forcing Jonathan to do all the talking (this is hard for me, you can imagine). He just gets a better response than I do. If I try to negotiate I often end up just getting super annoyed by the way some men talk to me. Sometimes they just plain ignore me. A swift slap might fix the problem... haha. Its not always an equal playing field, and it is very obvious to me, as a woman. And being in a room where I am the only female is surprisingly uncomfortable. So, both sides are bad, really- there's the rude-ness in contrast(?) with the leering...not a good combo.

Men almost always talk to Jonathan only, even if I'm standing right there. If they do address me, they call me 'sir.' Although I don't know why. If I had a rupee for every time I witnessed this conversation... well would probably only have about 50 rupees and that would be just over a dollar...

Creepo is watching us and saunters over, creepster fashion.
'Is this your friend?' asks creepy Indian man to Jonathan. I am standing beside Jonathan, rolling my eyes.
'No, this is my wife.' Jonathan responds.
'Oh, very good,' or something equally as irritating, he will say. I sigh as the creepster looks me over, wondering what would happen if we weren't married. How many water buffalo am I worth? If it weren't for the leering, it would be rather entertaining! Maybe we could even convince creepo to throw in a goat for good measure!

ps. There are so many people who give us this feeling in India. Remember, though, that this is a country of about one billion people: there is also so many more people who are the exact opposite of this. We are even fortunate enough to know a healthy handful of them personally.

1 comment:

Relic said...

Kristen, you are hilarious. Awesome writing. And so true.