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:
Now your story,
I have to say even writing about this one gets me angry again.
I’ve mentioned how in India there’s not really a good idea of how to properly stand in line. On top of that, some men have this notion that they should cut women- because why not?
Usually I let things slide… but c’mon no one keeps their cool all the time.
Here’s a story of a time I did not and how it unfolded.
We were at Lulu’s supermarket in Kochi. First I should explain that Kochi (Cochin) is much more coservative. It’s a communist state, very different from the rest of India, and still very traditional in every sense. I’ve come to understand from multiple encounters and visits there that men have even more of a superiority complex than elsewhere in India (in my opinion).
Anways, Ben went to get something else while we were in line, leaving me with a cart full of food alone. A HUGE man came up and pushed his cart right in front of mine. I gave him a look that said, “uh, excuse me asshole” which he head wobbled to and ignored.
Ben came back and asked why the man was there with a cart twice the size of ours, and I said he cut.
“Excuse me, did you realize she was in line?” Ben asked the man.
“YES I SEE HER! I KNOW THESE PEOPLE UP THERE! IT IS FINE, BACK OFF!!” He literally yelled back in response.
Give me a break… This started off a little back and forth between the three of us.
This is where the story gets really annoying for me.
The man stood next to me, so close that his giant belly was touching me. He was definitely over six foot tall and clearly tring to intimidate me. His eyes never left me.
I said to him, “can you please back off” with quite an attitude.
“I CAN STAND WHEREVER I WANT (he said with a smirk), YOU FOREIGNERS THINK YOU KNOW EVERYTHING! THIS IS MY COUNTRY”
“OK,” I replied calmly, and maybe
a little very condescendingly this time, “you keep standing there, a grown man, trying to intimidate a young girl. Good for you. You’re really giving India a good name to us foreigners.”
“AND LOOK AT YOU! YOU GIVE YOUR COUNTRY A BAD NAME LOOK HOW YOU DRESS. HOW COULD ANY MAN BE WITH YOU!” then he switched to Malayalam (the language of Kerala).
I wearing a long loose dress, shoulders completely covered, as I do in Kochi since it’s very conservative. Let me tell you, this is where I’m going to end up in jail one day because it’s just so fucked up for men to talk to women this way- or for anyone to talk to anyone! I wanted to deck this man in the face. Right now, I’m getting angry just writing about it as this is one story from India that I hate to rehash.
I didn’t reply , but my blood was boiling. If this had been in my wild college days, I would have hit him and a mini-riot would have started. Since living in India, I have learned patience (to an extent).
Ben held my arm and said just don’t say anything. See, what would happen here if I had reacted: that man would have fought Ben. It was clear he was looking for a fight.
We had to stand next to him for a good 10 minutes before he paid and left.
It’s a love hate relationship people have with India, and although I love it most days, on this day I wanted to leave. I hated knowing I live in country where women are talked to that way and 100 people are standing in a ciricle just watching.
For people who think I’m just venting or showing the negatives of India, I want to remind you I live here for a reason- I really do like this country, as many of my posts explain- but I have to keep it real on here. It’s no paradise in some cities. India will test your patience, and I don’t think males who visit can understand just how moments like this feel.
What did I learn? Getting into it with an asshole stubborn dude is only going to put me in a bad mood for the rest of the day, so why bother? Back to trying to keep my cool 100% of the time…
This is India!
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