Minor differences

Before I moved to Chennai, I was naive and assumed that things here would work similarly to anywhere else in the world. How wrong I was…

In the UK, you have to pull your socks up and do things for yourself. By things I mean everything from doing your laundry to putting up shelves. I think most people probably have drill bits and jig-saws in their sheds. And they just know how to do this stuff. I think you only realise how little you’ve done in your life once you move there. (Think fat boneless people in WALL-E).

In the Middle East (where I was brought up), you get everything done for you, hell you can even get a Mc Donald’s cheeseburger (just the one thanks) delivered to your doorstep. A guy who works for your landlord, or in your office building will wash your car everyday, and your groceries will be brought to your buidling from the store down the road, in a trolley pushed by a guy who works at the store. Once said groceries get to your buidling, the security guard will bring them upstairs for you and leave them in your kitchen. For heavier things, he too have a trolley – how handy. There’s a tea-boy at work, who makes your tea (albeit a little tasteless sometimes – but hey at least we can blame someone else!) and clear your mug once you’re done.

In India, you’d expect even more stuff to get done for you. Turns out that’s not very true, since if you want help you have got to trawl the streets to find help first. Then, in the off chance that the guy you find will help you, you have to offer him enough money to keep him and his drinking habit happy. If you’re lucky and find help through someone else’s help, then you need to figure out whether you trust them not to run away with the contents of your house. They will take anything – from those little troll dolls with the long hair to the taps in your bathroom (depending on how much time they have in your house). Of course, that isn’t the case with everyone – there are a few people who turn out quite nice.

Home delivery pretty much sucks, unless it’s from a pharmacy. Even Pizza Hut is usually an hour late, so your already crap excuse for a pizza is even colder and more leather like than ever. Strangely, they have a “will deliver in 30 mins, or your order is free” stamp but its a fake. I’ve tried complaining. Now I just don’t eat pizza.

When you shop for food, everything gets shoved in the same bag as your detergent (which may already be leaking). You have to wash anything that goes in your fridge just incase rats have pooed all over it (assuming you would rather not have rat poo in your fridge). Milk comes in plastic bags, and there is a knack to cutting the bag open and pouring the contents out without losing half your milk. Also, you have to boil the milk before you can drink it, I’m not very sure what happens if you don’t, but I’d rather not find out. Plus, it’s handy boiling milk, since you use half that to make your yogurt (yes, you have to make your own yogurt).

I guess a few of the pluses are that you usually have a driver to get you from place A to B so you don’t always have to risk your BP levels when you travel. Also, there’s always a handy guy that stands by the entrances of shopping malls and presses that parking ticket button for you and hands you your coupon through your car window. There’s always that one annoying moment where you realise your car is just a tiny bit too far from that button and then you curse yourself. Well curse no more! Oh and I have to mention Valet parking – anywhere and everywhere!

There’s so many more I can think of, but I think I’ll put them in a separate post. I reckon the longer I live here, the more patience I’ll have, the more grey hairs I’ll grow, and the more silently irritated/amused I’ll be!

One thought on “Minor differences

  1. so someone pushes the carpark coupon button for you.. but you have to make your own yoghurt..yup, makes a lot of sense!!

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