Thursday, July 14, 2005

An Indian cow in the American Market

As far as cultural shocks went i must say i landed in America with 'Shock absorbers' much to the disappointment of The Mr who expected me to go "Oh my Gawd!" at every tube top and hot pants i saw. Having grown up watching HBO and Star Movies and spending a few months in hep Bangalore i set foot at The Logan International Airport with a rather bored look. But then the latest fashion statement in downtown Nashua has made me sit up and ..and well GRIN!

All the ladies in my town are walking around in denim shorts (They all look so alike you would think it was The Summer Uniform in Nashua) and hold your breath! - 'chappals'. Yeah! the very same ones which go by the name of 'Bath-Slis' back home and which you wouldn't wear outside the sanctum sanctorum of your home unless you want to be laughed at.

In fact, even in college you restricted it to within the four huge compound walls of the hostel unless of course you were 'one of the boys' like yours truly whom the men never bothered to give a second glance except when they wanted to know the name of that young pretty thing in high heels (who happened to be your room mate) with whom they wanted have this highly 'intellectual' talk on, well, the weather :) (The Bitsian guys did come all the way to Parihar's class or the Ref-Lib in their pajamas and chappals unless it was winter when they were forced to wear shoes :-D Spare the swear words guys, i gave you company in those chappals!)

That was then and this is now. Well some things hardly change except maybe the name. So here i am in small obscure town Nashua, in North East America wearing The Uniform - denim shorts (Target), spaghetti blouse (Sears) and westernized chappals :The Flip - Flops (Walmart).
And to show the world i am the 'well- read' type without glasses, i got myself Flip-flops with The English Alphabet written all over.

Now who will dare say i am a dumb gurrrrl? ( I am rolling the R)
Nopes, The Mr will not say so, not if he wants dinner.


The morning after we landed , thanks to jetlag, The Mr and I were up as early as 3 A.M. After emptying all the 'Ready-to-eat' packets of jeera rice, peas pulao, veg khorma and channa masala he decided it was time i was introduced to The Great American Dream - Shopping at WalMart!
So we reached the 24/7 Walmart close home at 6 A.M and walked down every single aisle - him pushing the cart laden with everything from paper towels to fancy mops and watermelons while i regaled amma on our flight stories.

All aisles lead to the cashier and ours was no different. The 50 year old at the desk gave me a sweet smile and said "Hello! And how are you doing today" to which the newly wedded bride coyly answered "Oh! we are good. Just the jet lag. You see, we just got married and we landed here only last evening from India and..." She gave me a bewildered look, smiled at The Mr sadly and gave us our packages. And for the first time i kept staring at the floor like the Indian Bahu while The Mr couldn't stop laughing his heart out.

10 visits later, i am a pro with just an imperceptible (whatever that word is which is supposed to mean that you can't make out that there was a movement) nod and a random "Good" everytime the person at the counter says "Hi. How are you today?".

P.S: Damn! Inspite of being inspired by The One my post is far from rib-tickling. Double Damn!It doesn't even make ME smile. Next time, i'll ask The One to write it for me :)


Blogger Vignesh said...

Hehe... reminds me of that book... The Inscrutable Americans... Gopal and his replies when people ask him whats up... hehehehe...

Will be coming around to the Land of the Free in Sept. Will keep you posted !!

12:15 AM  
Blogger Manchus said...

You have landed in the Summertime. I ended up in Pittsburgh during winter. Oh boy! when Summer arrived it seemed like everyone forgot to wear their clothes!! Seriously, there is a stark difference.

Good post. Kumari have you joined any gym yet? If you plan to join, be prepared for the bigger shock in the locker room :)

1:49 AM  
Blogger Sagnik Nandy said...

the One is flattered but the One thinks you are Two good :)

3:34 AM  
Blogger Heh Heh said...

is that *really* your name (the one on the profile)?

5:57 AM  
Blogger Primalsoup said...

With all due respects to 'The One' I think you did a pretty good job! :)

And men across all campuses are the same, must say?! Sandwhiched between two of the batch lookers, my room woudl be frequented by many of the men, initially I was falttered in a worried way and then understood.

But, I made good use of my position and used to frequently tell the women, 'He is nice and stuff you know. But you sweetie can surely do better!'


10:10 AM  
Blogger blocs said...


12:27 PM  
Blogger Kumari said...

@Vignesh: Good...that's a welcome land of Free you meant New Hampshire? :p

@Manchus: I did join gym but never visited locker rooms yet. Tell me about it, The Mr laughs at me everytime i decide towear jeans saying i'm like a fish out of water in NH coz am fully clothed:(

@Sagnik: Thanks Muchas. Am flattered now:)

@Fingeek: Yes it is :) Sad part is our Med Insurance company couldn't find enough space n now my card claims i am one 'Chidambarakum ponnambalam' :(

@Soupy: Yipeee! So apart from Tamil soaps we are exchanging flattery too? i am game :-D Hehehe, tell me about it. In my case i had to put up with 3 great looking girls :) good part of the bargain - i wore their d'signer clothes in xchange for 'help' when a guy did realise i am also a girl :p

Me: Thank you :)

1:52 PM  
Blogger jax said...

Strange! I have been in hep Bangalore all my life, but I still go "Oh my Gawd!" when I see tube tops and hot pants!:D

Nice post Lady K! And how are you doing today? :D

5:57 AM  
Blogger Mint Chutney said...

Welcome to the US! It's like a federal regulation that everyone has to visit a Walmart...part of the immigration process.

10:58 AM  
Blogger Kumari said...

@Jax: Thanks and i wasn't talking of boys/men :p Me doing exceptionally good having finished the potter book 6 :)

@Mint: Hey welcome to my humble abode! Yes, i must say we have most of US tourist spots including K-Mart and Shaws...only Costco remains unconquered:)

4:24 PM  

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