Perspectives and the people around us.
Today is my last day in Bangalore. I fly out 4am Sunday morning and will arrive in Settle at 10am thanks to the magic of time zones.
This trip is a little different than my last one. Steven traveled with me last time. This time I'm alone with the natives. It's given me a chance to pay more attention to Indian culture.
Bangalore is in South India. One of my Indian coworkers here has never traveled north of Bangalore. He says he doesn't understand the languages and cultures. The food is too different.
That was a surprisingly deep statement. While I'm trying to wrap my head around India as a whole, I missed the fact that India is extremely diverse with dozens of languages, religions, foods and cultures.
I like Indian food, though I'm looking forward to my regular diet. The spice is hard on my stomach after a few days. Indian buffet is very common.
I have problems figuring out if a dish is a soup, a dip, a sauce or a spread. I don't think the natives always know either. Or perhaps in India there is just food and you eat it however you want. Labels like "Soup", "Spread" "Sauce" "Appetizer"
"Entee" or "Dessert" are western concepts that don't really apply here. Sure there are food preparations that are more liquid than other preparations, but its up to you if you want to eat it as a soup, pour it on rice or drink it from the bowl.
Advertising is everywhere. Everywhere! Billboards are everywhere. The front page of the newspaper is a big ad with the main headlines summarized in a small bar along the bottom.
My gut says that Indian advertising focuses more on beauty and jewelry than American ads. But I've learned how to tune out much American advertising, so that perspective may say more about me than India.
Indian TV and Movies are over the top. It doesn't help that I don't speak the languages. I can only focus on the strangeness of the situations. Perhaps American TV is similar, but I don't watch the worst of our TV and since I understand the language the absurdities fly past. The overacting here is kind of similar to the overacting you see in mediocre American sitcoms. There doesn't seem to be the Indian equivalent of HGTV or National Geographic. There are many news channels here. Indians love their news. At the highest levels of Indian society and politics, there is so much corruption so many scandals that people follow the news the passion of soap operas or reality shows.