As an NRI who has lived for quite a long time in an ARAB country, the shift back home really tossed my senses. There’s quite a lot of things we are not accustomed to, but I have listed just a few here:
1) Liquid Curd
When we are served curd for the first time, the predictable question is “Why is it flowing?”. Let me tell you, we have only eaten SET curd irrespective of the seasons and we didn’t pay a mini fortune for it.
2) Gaping People
People come to know we are NRIs and we are suddenly the subject of sly stares. And ridiculous questions like “Do you understand Hindi? Are you Indian?” are constantly asked. Making it clear here once and for all : NRI stands for Non Residential INDIAN. Get it? I swear, we look and talk the same.
3) The Streets
Have you realized that walking on streets in India means we have to maneuver through people, dogs, potholes, cycles, cars, cows and the Nimbus that are strewn everywhere? If through all this we manage not to trip and break a leg, we reminisce of days when we safely sat in cars that moved in clean straight lines.
The strays scare us. Don’t think we are over reacting if we flee from a street dog, it’s just that we came from a friendly cat country and they didn’t scratch.
5) The Moolah
Everyone, I mean everyone presumes NRIs have shit loads of money. Why? Do we look like descendants of Uncle Scrooge? Our families are working as hard as yours and there are no money spills from where we come. Yet.
6) The ‘No Laban’ crisis
Predictably I come from an Arab country, and the whole NO LABAN scenario is quite sad. For those who don’t know, LABAN is a drink made out of curd. No, it’s not like LASSI. No, it can’t be made at home.
7) Facebook Disasters
Why would you upload pictures on Facebook and tag your other 50 friends on it? Are we forced to look at it and like it? Seriously?! Is it just me who finds this strange or others agree? Also, I/we don’t accept friend requests just because I see you across the halls. I know you first, than accept the request and not vice versa. NRI or not, just wanted to get this across.
8) Round Plug Points
This is so frustrating! Every gadget we own has flat plugs and to find a socket like that,
is like searching for Nirvana. We usually end up with adapters, extensions and what not falling right out of the plug point.
9) Masala Madness
Everything from noodles, to rice to oats to chips has to have a Masala Twist. By Masala read : Chilli and Pepper. Some people like their food to actually taste like what it’s named, you know. Minus innovations.
The infestation here is our own personal hell. The mosquitoes frustratingly love our blood more leaving us scratching day in and out. ODOMOS and GOODKNIGHT are our perennial best friends.
Before you slander, I love the country!!
Four years here, and I have learnt to adjust. I no more trip on footpaths and have mastered the art of dealing with the questions. It’s now home with its own perks. This post just highlights our initial reactions. 🙂