December 18th & 19th: Rain, Nightclubs, Family

Since coming to Bangalore I haven’t seen it rain. I never had a desire for rain until I saw how the long dry air erodes the children’s skin into a chalky ash. Just by looking at their skin one can tell if they live in the semi-open air or a fully partitioned dwelling. I want it to rain so that the dusty will stick to the earth and leave my hair and street food alone. I wish I could be here for the Monsoon. I want to see the children’s skin nourished by the skyfall. I firmly want to stay in India longer.

On Wednesday I went out at night in Bangalore with my Hindustani friends. We went to a bar in a fancy hotel. Hotels Bars are the staple hang-outs for Bangalore’s upper-middle class societies. Hotels are much more than places to sleep in India. They are all inclusive escapes from the crazy. The bar was very nice, but the crowd was older. Single IT professional seem to be the only people with expendable income and thirst. The prices of the drinks were not cheap, but they were not insane like blasted Singapore’s 16$ a draft beer. We had a lot of fun, dancing in our own circle. I must say that Indians, even single men eyeing the place for single women, dance. Its really great to be a in a culture appreciates dancing as an important social medium. I totally love India for that. All different cultures expressive they differently, although all are great, the cultures that dance are the most fun for me. Now that I am exploring where to land after being tossed out of India, my feet want to land on Brazilian or Philippine dance floor.

I am starting to like the less developed places. The sterility of development hasn’t inferred with their spirits. The people are hungry and excited for everything.  You’ll never meet a more ambitious person than a person with nothing to loose.

Bars in Bangalore close at eleven thirty. In many cities around the world that is the time that the clubs open. Bangalowlows will set out to go to a venue at 7pm. People are out in the city in their clubbing attire around sunset. The mix of people going home from work, clubbers headed to events, and the aimless poor all meandering around the city at same time is interesting. Indian girls dress similar to 21-year-old Americans. Clubs are a bit more exclusive so the patrons arrive by car and the girls if having drank prefer to go home with a trusted friend and not a taxi driver. The freedom to take a taxi at anytime was a luxury I never appreciated being a man and having lived in relatively safe Boston and Japan. Even taking a taxi for a single man late at night comes with a risk.

After the evening’s event we navigated the maze of dark roads to get home. I totally understand why no one wants to go home alone. We were flagged down by a police officer who wanted to extort a bribe. Since the police are corrupt the driver just sped away from them well they yelled after us. I didn’t feel any guilt for avoiding the police. After seeing how little they care about anything other than fattening their own pockets I don’t respect what they represent.

I am certain that there are fantastic honest police officers in every Indian city; I just don’t think that those honest individuals are stationed to do the late night traffic hustle.  My company had upset stomachs so we stopped the car a few times on the side of the road to keep it clean. It was exciting and I got to use my drill sergeant “inspiration” techniques pains takingly mastered from years of beach body glamour workout videos.  I arrived home and made a raucous. As my friends drove away I realized that I had left my phone and jacket in the car.

The next morning I went to school and had a low productivity day. The school has taken my remedial English room and made many of my classes impossible to conduct. I took an Auto from school into the city to retrieve my phone. Since I didn’t have a phone I just knocked on Shenelle’s door and found myself drinking tea and eating banana chips with her parents. Then her father led my auto driver and I to another house to retrieve my jacket. Shenelle’s father on his motor bike and myself and the auto driver trailing in the rear we made a little circus parade.

I got my jacket, the embodiment of Rikyou’s royalty, and phone and took the auto driver home. I decided today that after India I will volunteer at a school in Kathmandu. I have a friend in Kathmandu and I will live in their house while spending a week in Nepal working at a school similar to Parikrma. Nepal is a destitute country, but certainly the people are warm. I realized that the warmth of the people has a far greater impact than the infrastructure, rule of law, or social norms.

When it comes to those factors India is a crazy mess, but the matters of the heart are firmly developed. Indian had the first civilianization known to mankind; they certainly had centuries to create a warm society. In Papua, one of the last wild places on Earth, if you are invited into someone’s home you are immediately cared for and protected, but outside of the home the streets are extremely dangerous with drunks wielding machetes in search of booze. India isn’t as wild as Papua, but Papua illustrates what happens in India. The larger society is fierce, pushy, and uncontrollable, but the family makes up for what society lacks. The family gives order, accountability, and support. The family is super important because it is something that you can rely on in a crazy world.

Western cultures rely on the government, the police, and society at large to order, support, and protection. In turn the importance of the family unit with regard to survival is diminished. I appreciate the way that Indian families, although relatively nosy and demanding when compared the to independence minded Americans, cares for someone. I total love the La’Porte family and today I told the parents that I feel adopted and that I appreciate it. India is the warmest country I have ever visited.

Tomorrow I Goa via bus !!!!

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