Well, the trip to India could be best described as anticlimatic. For me, anyway. While I was expecting at least one attempt at kidnapping and numerous ransom demands, none of that even happened.
What did happen was reconnecting with long lost relatives. Immediate family was a pleasure; my cousins were delightful as always, but the non-immediate family? Not so much. Every time my dad introduced me to someone, it was the same shebang, “Oh my God, you’ve grown up so much! I held you when you were THIS small, do you remember me? Wow, I just can’t believe it, time passes so quickly! You look so beautiful-” and at this point they would turn back to my dad and say, “Pity about the height though.”
Contrary to what you might think, that didn’t hurt as much as it should; it actually made me chortle. It was hard work trying to look gloomy for something for which I cared so little about, and even more hard work to stop myself from saying, “Why do they have high heels, you silly little person?”
The food was delicious, but then I wasn’t expecting it to be otherwise. The roads were as bumpy as ever, and the people were as curious as ever. It was just as I had expected.
The toilets, however, were a massive problem. It seemed as if no-one in India had heard of a relatively useful thing called “toilet paper”. There was none to be found, and if I hadn’t smuggled in a roll from home, I would have never gotten by.
Also, using those ‘squat toilets’ were a bit of an issue for me. I mean, now that I think about it, they’re definitely more hygienic, so to speak, but… you know what, I’ll just stop right there, because, well, who wants to read about toilets in such graphic detail? Not I.
The penetrating stares were a constant throughout the week. From men AND women. One time, my uncle, my dad and I were standing outside a restaurant waiting for the valet to bring around our car. We’d just finished lunch and were planning on heading home after an exhausting day.
Something made me look to my left, and I noticed a leery, bearded man looking at me. I looked away quickly, not really surprised. Obviously, curiosity got the better for me, and a few minutes later, I turned back to see if he was still looking or not.
He still was.
I frowned and turned back around. What was this, I wasn’t some type of zoo animal, and he couldn’t stare at me whenever he liked. I debated on what to do. I could alert my dad, but that would be no use at all, because my dad would just think I was overreacting. I turned to my left to see again.
He was still looking.
I grew more and more incensed. What in the world was there for him to stare at? I didn’t like it, and it made me uncomfortable, so it was obviously up to me to make that creep stop.
I turned around, and shouted at him, “What’re you looking at?”
Unfortunately, I do not know any insults in Hindi, and hence could not drop a swear word at the end of the sentence like I wanted to.
My shout alerted my dad, who replied, “I’m looking for the car, what do you think I’m looking at?”
The Stare-Man continued looking at me for a few seconds, and a small smile played upon his lips. He smirked and looked away. I couldn’t stop myself from involuntarily breaking out into little shudders; that man was the epitome of creepy.
My dad, still confused at my question (which he didn’t know wasn’t meant for him), said, “Oh look, the car!” and climbed in happily.
I climbed in too, thankful that I was finally getting away from that jerk. I put my sunglasses on, and in that disguise, turned to see if he was beating himself at the fact that he’d just gotten told off by me.
But to my intense anger, he was looking and laughing at me with his friends. Whaaaaaat.
I couldn’t stand not saying anything, and I told my dad, whose expected reply was, “Oh, you’re probably overreacting, they’re not going to do anything, and what’s the point in telling me now, while we’re in the car, you should’ve said something when we were standing there, you’re probably imagining things, oh look there’s a cow on the road.”
Sigh. My dad is so delightfully unaware of the world. XD