Possessions are different than assets. Asset has monetary value. It is very liquidate, you can turn your asset back into money in no time. Possessions are simply something you own, you may value them very much, but it may worthy nothing to other people. I am moving in with Pat, so I am clean my apartment. I am surprise by amount of things in my little apartment. I have accumulated lots of things over the years. My life in Vancouver is in big contrast with my life in India. I have so many things here, but I am able live off with only two suit cases in India. Sometimes, I wonder how much thing a person really needs, probably not much.
In some African tribes, people don’t have any possessions. They only value things that can be carried with them from one place to another. Human start to have possessions when we settle down in a place and have the means to take all our belongs with us everything we move. In modern society, people love to have many possessions. We just love to own stuffs We keep accumulating furniture, clothes, books, CDs, DVDs, collectibles in our home, although we probably won’t use all of them in foreseeable future. Strictly speaking, possessions are useless things somehow make us happy. I guess all we want is just a sense of ownership.
Before I come to Indian, I heard that Indians don’t use toilet paper, they use their left hand. I thought it was a joke or it is stories from last centuries. Now I am in Indian, I can confirm the story is true. In a typical Indian toilet, you won’t find any toilet paper. Instead, you get a tap and a water bucket in each stall. After you had done your business, you can use the water bucket and your left hand to clean your butt. In some more advance toilet, it has a hose with shower head, so you can wash your butt more thoroughly than using a water bucket. I only find toilet paper is provided in hotels or fine dining restaurants with lots of foreigner customers.
No only that Indians don’t use toilet paper, they don’t even know what toilet paper is. The toilet paper in the guest house is running low, so I asked the maid to get me some new toilet paper. Guess what I got? I got kitchen paper towels! Flushing those thing down will guarantee a flooding toilet. Luckily, my box kleenex save the day. My highest priority task for this weekend is to get some toilet paper for the guest house from the super market.
When we travel aboard, we love to claim that we are there to experience the culture. We tends to look down on package tour that lock tourists up inside air conditioned coaches and only released them at specific spots to take a few snapshots. It seems the cultural experience is what distinct intelligent travelers from dumb tourists. Love to experience culture works fine when traveling to places with lovely culture. Walking down the Louvre like a French, having Cappuccino like an Italian or soaking hot spring like a Japanese all sound very cool. You can always learn something new and useful from those rich cultures by interacting with the local people.
However, there is a dilemma when traveling to places with not so lovely culture. Why would anyone want to experience the mess in India? Why would anyone want to experience the uncivilized vegetarian diet culture? It is OK to try it for the first times, so that you can claim it sucks and stay away from it forever. There is simply nothing to learn from those backward cultures. Why bother? I guess the only reason someone want to experience those culture is becoming an armature anthologist, observe the culture first hand and explain why it sucks to satisfy his academic curiosity.
It seems I am writing about India in my blog every day. Well, I guess I am still experience the cultural shock. Everything happening around me seems so strange and foreign to me. Usually people will eventually get over with the cultural shock once they are familiar with the culture. There are many things I want to write about Indian culture and at the same time I don’t know where to begin. I will simply jot down a few observations I have over the weekend. I should know how to explain things more systemically once I finished reading my book on the anthropology of culture.
I went to a zoo and safari on the weekend. Inside the safari, the bus driver help us take many photos since he is siting closely to the window. When we get off, I decided to give him some tips, 10 rupees. To make me quite unpleasant is that he bargain with me asking for more tips, 100 rupees. I am the only one in the bus giving him tips. He should be glad to have any tips at all. At the end I gave him 50 rupees, but I decided I will not give any more tips in India unless it is necesgary.
The Indian concept of time is totally different than Canadian. When an Indian told you five minutes, it actually means anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour. I gave up expecting any Indian becoming on time. I guess I just have to wait patiently. I have nothing else to do or place to go anyways.
I went to M.G. road on the weekend. M.G. road is kinda like Robson Street in Vancouver, with lots of tourist store. On the street people trying to sell things to you are everywhere. Most of them sell cheesy key chains, handcraft souvenirs. There is one guy trying to sell wall size Indian map to tourist. That guy must be out of his mind. No tourist want to carry a cheap poster size map back home. Moreover it takes lost work to keep the map free off winkles. I wonder who will buy an Indian map during travel.