Welcome back to This is India! I always have funny/weird stories about India to share with friends or family when I talk to them. This is just meant to be an honest portrayal about my life in India through short anecdotes. I also share here what I’ve been up to online outside Werkenntwen.
What I was up to other than here:
- Thanks to Yara for putting me on this list: Top 10 Journey Blogs of 2014 from Heart of a Vagabond!
- Oksana from Drink Tea and Journey asked 10 travel bloggers to share their favorite place for Christmas. Mine is truly my family room back in Ohio, but that would bore the masses. Since my parents are coming to Goa this year for Christmas, I added Goa to the list: Top 10 Christmas Destinations Around the World.
- Britani, from my Charlotte party days is coming to India for 2 weeks! She arrives on Sunday (with lots of snacks and goodies for me). I wrote about meeting Britani when I talked about making friends while traveling alone.
- This blog was linked from Buzzfeed in an article about how you know you’ve backpacked Thailand. Of all the posts I’ve written, of course the ping pong show in Thailand article gets linked by Buzzfeed! It’s my most read article… WHY!!?
- FYI, for some reason the comments part isn’t working in this post? But I really am curious what you think of this story- you can tweet me @hippie_inheels
Now your story,
This story is coming to you from Pune, where I hinted (repeatedly) that I didn’t have the greatest experience with local transport and rickshaw drivers.
I had changed drivers about 10 times this day and I was flustered from the rain when I hopped into this guy’s rick. He was about 60, seemed really nice, and fixed the plastic so the rain didn’t come in. He kept turning around to talk to me at lights, which isn’t unusual, but then told me my “skin was so fair so pretty” and reached to touch my cheek. I dodged him. Later when I went to get out of the rick, he tried to help me with my rain coat zipper. I told him kindly that I did not need help. Then as I handed him money, he grabbed hand hard, pulled it to his mouth, and kissed my hand. I didn’t say anything, just grabbed my hand back and left. I did give him a dirty look and he could tell I was angry, but it wasn’t worth a fight.
You wouldn’t think this is a big deal, but IT IS. He would never have done that to a local girl. It’s way over the line. How indian men treat foreign girls is different than how they treat Indian girls because they think they can get away with it.
Sometimes they do because women may not know if a kiss on the hand is ok, or a touch on the cheek, so trying to prevent from being rude they awkwardly laugh. The guy sees a smile and thinks, “these dumb western girls are so easy I bet I could take her to bed!” It can be hard to tell when an Indian man is genuinely sweet or trying something.
I talked to my Indian girlfriends about it just after and they were furious saying they would have called the police, they would have screamed at him, etc… but they all agreed, he wouldn’t have done that to them in the first place.
It’s frustrating, but as foreign girls, we should still stand up against things that are okay back home, but not okay in India or the men get the wrong idea. If a cabbie in NY kissed my hand I would laugh and call him a whacko but I wouldn’t be offended.
So now that I know my Indian girlfriends would have flipped out on this guy- but then again he never would have tried this with them, if it happened again I would react more harshly I think.
What do you guys think?
This is India!
feature image photo credit (kerala)
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