Few of you may not like or want to agree on what I am going to say; but you don't necessarily have to agree. These are my views strongly supported by incidents :-)
The one quality that sets us apart from all other creatures on this earth is ADAPTABILITY. The one character that has made MAN the dominant and superior creature on earth; facilitating him to survive and grow.
How fast you get adapted to new environment and habit is the key here. The world is ours; doesn't take long time to adapt and adopt. Its the man made rules and regulations that I find interesting to ponder about and discuss.
Having traveled outside India; if not extensively but decently fair enough; I got to quickly learn the dos and donts of the place I visit. I did not start off boom! I did have my share of feeling awkward and realizing blunders and learning not to repeat them; instead commit new ones!!
Adapting to new place, new set of rules, new culture is one thing; a bonus rather. But ACCEPTING and respecting the order of the land is mandatory; irrespective of you liking it or not. Are we(Indians) too adamant to adapt? Do we lack basic courtesy and discipline? Please note that I mean no offense to anyone. These are my views after repeated observations.
Is there something lacking in the way we were brought up? Our surroundings, the people; all contribute to our up bringing. We create ruckus over trivial issues; but when it comes to us; its different. Few incidents from the past week is the reason for this post.
A Chinese-American friend here sometime back amusingly asked me "Why are Indians always in a hurry? They push through you, nudge you off and walk away. I feel sad for that their life is so hectic". Trust me, he seriously thought every Indian pushes his way through as he has something really important and critical to take care of!!
I was left red-faced when one of my colleague felt that it was OK to go for a meeting 20 minutes late. I could not go without him; which in turn got me late. I am very punctual and I respect people's time. But yesterday was disappointing. He barged into the meeting hall giggling; no signs of apology of any sort. I had to apologize for our late arrival on his behalf as well. :-S
A colleague of mine has come from India; this is his first ever time outside India. His attitude has been pathetic towards the rules here. Jump queues, barging into lifts, pushing through the crowd, arriving late for appointments, jaywalk.....Its absolutely normal and right for us, is it not?
Pedestrians are given utmost importance here. Jaywalking is a NO-NO. But when have we crossed the road only at ped-xing and when have we waited for the ped crossing signal? He kept walking as a car was approaching. The driver waited and signaled me that I could cross. Once I reached the other side of the road, I told him "You did that yesterday as well. Dont cross the road unless there is a ped cross. And even if you want to, wait for the signal from the driver. They would stop for you; the rule says it so. Get their clearance"
For which he said "They anyway stop! Why wait for their permission?"
It was disgusting. I had to remind him that he was visiting some other country and it was apt to follow the rules of the land. He took umbrage for the same.
Some may ask me "Do I always follow these rules?" Yes, I do follow the rules of the place I visit. But back in India; I dont. Has anyone tried to wait for the vehicles to stop for pedestrians there? I bet there's no person more foolish as you are as you would end up waiting eons and eons to cross a road.You have to break and maneuver your way across; else I bet you are stuck forever.
Old habits die hard I agree. But aren't we equipped with analyzing capability and bit of common sense?
There are other funny moments as well. Marveling at litter free roads, neatly manicured walk paths, honk-less traffic , everything organized; things done in orderly manner. Above all, converting currencies!!! Oh man! I did that years ago; and literally starved myself to death. :-P
Now let me share my views on ATTITUDE. We are a complex lot; Indians have an exotic attitude :-) When I say this; let me also make it clear that I am being sarcastic here. Poor me!!! I have to explicitly mention that I am being sarcastic.
OK, we have these preset notion that going to a different country; specifically a developed country; on work is an achievement of sorts. It is as if the company has done you a great favor by sending you on site. Once we end up there, put in extra efforts to show the management that the organization chose the right candidate who would work hard and put more effort than normal. It means, work almost 20 hours a day, sleep deprived, live frugal to save cost to the company and struggle alone.
Now why am I talking about this? Few folks hinted at me that I was having fun at the cost of company here while in the USA. People!! grow up, change your mentality. Roaming around does not mean I am not doing the work for which I landed here in the first place. There is a concept called weekends, remember? And its enough to work for not more than 9 hours a day if you are smart; ain't it?
And the company has not done me any favor by sending me here; in fact I have done a favor to them by agreeing to come here and finish off assignments leaving my home and my loved ones and my city behind. They have sent me here because they find me capable to finish off the work; and I have every right to have fun wherever I am!!
So do I sound AUDACIOUS? :-)
Anyway, few pictures that I thought would share.
This lady is a Korean. I could not get her Korean name. She first came near me and sniffed and licked my fingers. Then I think she realized that I was an unknown entity; so started barking and was jumping over to grab me.
I thought this loosely resembled Pookolam; a natural one. Happy Onam folks..Belated :-)
This road leads to my office facilities the other side, and to nowhere this side. So what should I infer? :-P
Partial view of the sprawling office campus