"Listen with an open mind, but don't try to remember this stuff. There's no quiz at the end." Jack Kornfield

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

A Story about the differences in culture (part one)

*****************************Where we come from**************************** *************************************************************************** Reading... Sadly, many today don't. I don't mean those of us that spend a lot of time sitting in front of these screens, after all we are reading... most of us anyway. I suspect that it's fairly common knowledge around the literate world that my country, the United States, "graduates" functionally illiterate students. Just one of the benefits of my working at least one graveyard shift a week means I take the time to actually read the printed paper word. Last week I took a book to work that I had read before... books are often like old friends to me... how often do we hear a treasured old friend start to tell us a story we have heard before and we still sit and enjoy the retelling. The book was, "Still Here" by Ram Dass, and one of the things he talked about in that book brought a sudden rush of memory... it was about the differences in cultures when we travel and I can assure you that his description of his arrival in India forty years ago was exactly the same experience I had ten months ago. Below a couple of lines from the above book. "Once inside the terminal at Delhi we queued up for the long wait at customs, dazed, confused, exhausted, and ornery. It was 3:30 A.M. local time. The line moved so slowly......."

Yes, exactly my experience and rather than quote further I'll just use my own words to further explain the wonderful differences I saw.

I am one of those people that may likely be one of the last people off a plane, seeing no need to rush headlong out the door since we aren't going far. Standing at the end of the line gave me a chance to do what I love so well and that's to watch people. It didn't take long to spot the Indians... even without obvious clues of color, dress, or headgear. They were the ones that just seemed comfortable waiting on the customs bureaucracy. If you haven't been there, nothing seems to happen quickly in India and until a westerner learns to just sit and aren't going to have a good time. And hour later my passport stamped and a young man carrying my bag, we went through the inevitable gauntlet of willing labor one finds anywhere around any public transportation. I spotted the fellow holding a sign with my name on it and we exited the terminal into a night full of the smells of India, as well as the dust and sounds of what must be a hundred cars all tooting their horns. Off to the hotel we headed. To be continued......

And so it goes My love to you all, brinda Namaste नमस्ते

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