I noticed that we only have 9 months until Christmas, so if you’ve always wanted a Christmas baby, now’s your chance. Today was a typical day on the wards, except I got really hot and decided to hide downstairs in front of the only fan. I must have been there for a long time because I was able to finish the last book I had here. I hope this is what residency is like (year right). After a super cush day at the hospital, I went clothes shopping with some friends from class to a nice mall. I am not a fan of India’s clothes, so I decided to play a game to occupy myself. I would stand in one part of the store and try to count how many American-themed things I could find. The record was 15. Just to name a few of the things I saw: Mickey Mouse, Scooby Doo, Strawberry Shortcake, Winnie the Poo, Star wars, Iron Man, Los Angeles, Malibu, San Francisco, New York City, and American baseball. Like they say, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. I finished the shopping night with KFC. It tasted like KFC back home, but with a little bit of heat. Also, they had rice instead of mashed potatoes, no corn, no biscuits, and their drumsticks were wing-sized (no growth hormones over here?). I inhaled my dinner, and after getting home I felt so bloated and tired. I didn’t realize how bad American food can make you feel until you’ve been away from it for weeks. I guess that feeling isn’t normal?
My apartment still has no WiFi. I can’t go out after dark alone, so I spent my Saturday night inside…alone. No phone, no internet, no books (I’ve read all the ones I’ve brought), no T.V., no texting (everyone was busy enjoying their Saturday), and no work that I could do without the internet. So I turned on my music playlist to American Top Hits and had a pants-less dance party until I was tired. Then, I made funny signs and art on my computer to print out for my apartment when I get home. I even made them for my friend Kayla. I didn’t know I could get to that level of boredom. I live my life trying to be as efficient as possible, but I need to have un-plugged moments to get back to being bored. I think it is good for you to just sit quietly and think.
I’ll end this with the top 3 funny things I’ve experienced since being here.
- Someone invited me to the zoo because, “they have deers there!” I had to explain to her that they are EVERYWHERE where I live. We don’t like seeing them. I guess that is how they feel about dogs? I told them I’ll go when they have elephants. The UK students went and said it was
- Holding hands is very common in public here. But there is one stipulation, it has to be with someone of the same sex. It is viewed as a friendly gesture. My girl friends hold my hand when we cross the street or to keep together in crowds or on the sidewalk (India is very crowded so it is easy to get separated). Holding the hand of the opposite sex is very scandalous, even if you are married. You can’t even hug or kiss in public as a couple unless you want to make a huge scene. Still mind-boggling. I told my classmates that people have sex in public in my country and they laughed really hard.
- It is not uncommon to see a Swastika symbol in India. It is a lucky charm or a symbol of well-being.It was mostly used by Aryan people living in India in the 20th century. Since Aryans were the german ancestors, Hitler concluded that the swastika has been “eternally anti-semitic” and chose it for the Nazi party. I’ll never forget the panic I had when I first walked up to my apartment door to see that it had a giant swastika on it. I wanted to run away but I was very tired.