Sunday, August 1, 2021

Etiquette for Olympiad

This blog post was originally published in July 2012 under the title "Etiquette for XXX Olympiad". But this blog post written during London Olympics will be good for Olympics in any city in the world.

Puleeeze. I am not a pervert. In Roman numeral XXX means 30 (not triple X-rated). The 30th Summer Olympics, which is officially known as Games of the XXX Olympiad, is beginning tomorrow in London, England. 

Britain’s tourism agency has issued guidelines on the etiquette of dealing with thousands of foreign visitors who will come to attend the games. The advice that is being given by the tourism agency is for those who are likely to work with tourists arriving from foreign countries. This includes people such as hotel staff, taxi drivers, etc. 

Here are some of the guidelines: (My own interpretation is given in brackets) 

For Brazilians – Don’t ask personal questions (Sir, Did you bring your mistress with you?) 

For people from the Middle East – Never be bossy with them. They are not used to being told what they can’t do. (Sir, please don’t strap that bomb on your chest while you are in my taxi. I am just making a request, Sir.) 

For the Polish – They don’t like be stereotyped as drunks. (Would you like a tall glass of Vodka with your breakfast, Sir?) 

For the French – They are very picky in restaurants. (No Sir, we don’t have escargot here and no croissants as well. However we do have FRENCH fries and FRENCH bread.) 

For the Argentineans – They don’t like jokes about their clothing or weight. (Sir, please use the stairs when you are going up to your hotel room. Our elevators have a weight limit. Also, please remember that only wearing underwear and black business socks is not appropriate attire at our swimming pools.)

For Indians - They are in general, an impatient lot, and like to be quickly attended to. The more affluent they are, the more demanding and brusque they tend to be. They also don't like being touched by strangers and may be suspicious about the quality of British food. (I don’t vant to stand in queue. I vant my dal and rice immediately. Don’t touch me. My mommy will be mad. I have to call her and explain to her vhy you touched me. I don’t like Yorkshire pudding. I hate subghetti also. All I vant is 2 idlis and 3 buckets of sambar.) 

China and Hong Kong – Winking or pointing with an index finger is rude. They don’t like to talk about failure, poverty, or death. They are unimpressed by the landmarks that are only a few hundred years old. (Thank you Sir, for building HUGE and impressive Olympic buildings in 2008 for the Beijing Olympics. I hear that they are unused and failing miserably. Welcome to London. We (pointing to my chest) won’t make the same mistake as you. (pointing with index finger) wink, wink) 

Mexicans – Don’t discuss poverty, immigration or earthquakes. They prefer to talk about history and art. (Sir, I would like to hear about the history of East Los Angeles. Sir, do you personally know Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio?) 

Canadians – They will be annoyed about being mistaken for an American. (Sir, I will never mistake you for an American. So far you have spoken 4 sentences and all of them ended with “eh”. My name is John Doe, eh. You are also here for the Olympics, eh. I like pizza, eh. Buckingham Palace is beautiful, eh.)

Americans – They are so informal to the point of being very direct. They won’t hesitate about complaining. (Now that we are in London, I want some real American food. Where can I get a burrito or some pizza? Why is everyone a foreigner in London? How come the bartenders never look at you and acknowledge your presence? London hotels charge $300 a night but why is there an additional charge for WiFi? I am going to enjoy this vacation…even if it’s going to kill me.)

Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Why I Don't Like To Watch Tokyo Olympics

The following are the reasons: 

Time Difference:  USA is behind in time from Japan by 16 hours.  Whatever American television (NBC) shows as "live" I already know the results.  I knew Naomi Osaka lost her tennis match before their "live" broadcast.  I already knew the mighty unbeatable American basketball team lost to France.

American prejudice:  The network (NBC) thinks Americans want to watch only American athletes.  That is why they are losing the audience.  The American public wants to watch and learn about all the athletes.  For example, if in an event an American athlete comes in 5th place they will ignore all the other first 4 and starts to interview and tell the life history of the athlete that came is 5th.  His/her childhood, how did he/she trained, if he /she brought his/her significant other to the Olympics, and if they slept together before the event.

Unrecognizable events if an American is participant.  I watched an athletic event called "Slalom Canoe". I watched it for one hour.  (Side bar:  Even though I am  not an athlete, I have theoretical knowledge about many games and their rules. From Kho Kho to American Football)  I had no idea how this game Slalom Canoe is played and how they score points and how they win. They showed for a long time only because some Americans were the contestants.  Many Americans went back to sleep.

They will never show any event that Americans are not participating.  For example: Field Hockey. Badminton, Handball, Rhythmic Gymnastics, Table Tennis, Trampoline.

Stay Tuned for my next week's blog post.  I will repost the blog post I wrote about spectators for the London Olympics in 2012.

Sunday, July 18, 2021

Developed, But Is It?

I wrote before briefly about my uncle's remote village in Tamil Nadu.  There was no electricity.  There was no phone.  You have to cross a river to go to the village. There is no bridge and therefore you have to walk through the water to go to other other side.

Here are some more details.

There is a special street where only rich people live.  How many houses in that street?  Just one.  My uncle's house.  One has to cross that street to go to the other streets where poor people lived.  The unwritten rule is bullock carts can go thru that street from 6 am to 6 pm.  And, that too the people who are sitting in that bullock cart should get down and walk until crossing that street.  After 6 pm and until 6 am next morning,   no bullock cart can go thru that street because our family is sleeping in the middle of the street on our cots.  (There were only 3 weather patterns there.  Hot. Hottest, Murder)

My uncle had few servants.  They were  not allowed to come inside the house.  They came thru the side doors to clean the house, clean the dishes, milk the cows, and take the cattle and cows for grazing.

This was long time ago.

Now that village has electricity, bridge over the river, so many phones, high rise apartments, and even a high school.

Couple of years ago I went to India and visited that village where I used to go every summer vacation.

Unfortunately, my uncle's wife (aunt) died.  She was sick and not having good health.

Two incidents I noticed.

The daughter of my uncle's servant who used to milk the cows is now a prominent doctor in the nearby town.  My cousins called her to come and check up my aunt.  She immediately came to our village in a driver driven car.  She was hesitant to come into the house.  My cousins insisted she come inside the house and check my aunt.  The doctor came inside.  She was hesitant to touch my aunt,  Finally, she took out a silk cloth, put it around my aunt's wrist and checked her pulse.  Same thing with stethoscope.

With tears in her eyes, she said my aunt's life is only a few hours away.  And, she left.  I have never seen a doctor gets emotional in any country in the world about a patient.  I have lived in 5 countries.  (Doctors never show any emotion.)

My aunt passed way.  The next day my cousins were arranging a funeral for her.  

The body was inside the house.  There came a fancy car.  Who comes out of that car?  A prominent lawyer who is also the "Leader of the Bar" in the nearby town.  A few of his juniors were also with him.  Who is he?  He is the son of the servant who took care of the cattle and cows for grazing.

He came to pay his last respect to my aunt.  My cousins asked him to come inside the house to pay his respects.  He refused and stayed outside the house with his juniors.

Finally, the body came out.  The lawyer fell on the floor in the street in front of the body. Got up with tears in his eyes, got into the car and left. 

Are we developed or not?  You tell me.

PS: My wife used to make fun about these villages all the time. That remote village was my mom's where there was only one house in the agraharam.  But my dad's village, which was 3 miles away, had 24 houses in the agraharam.   My wife used to tell everyone that compared to my mom's village, my dad's village is New York City.