We all have assumptions about many things in life. My recent trip to Seychelles has taught me a lot of things. For me for everything that I do is, if I am allowed to as per my conscious, I will try to get away with it. Somewhere the jugaadu things that are done in India are not done everywhere… whether it be work-related or behavioral I realized. The blog highlights these cultural nuances which I had experienced abroad!
Like in India, when we hire a taxi, we ask the driver to stop so that we purchase bread and butter for the next day’s breakfast or we stop to check out a restaurant or a happening place for dinner. But for people living abroad, it is not okay. For them, if you have hired me for from A to B, that is what he is supposed to do. He is not supposed to do A to D. We tend to take advantage of the facilities available to us.
Similarly, when we went to a restaurant in Seychelles, where we were eating with our hands and this local resident from the next table was gaping at me and she could not get her eyes off me. It was the fab Seychelles veg curry with rice that we had for the entire week. Many Indian cultures and societies relish the food by eating with their hands, so I was enjoying the delicacy by eating with my hands.
I was sitting in a restaurant with my legs folded up, thinking about my comfort, whereby the restaurant manager walked up to me and asked me to put my feet down. Whereas for Europeans, they don’t look for what is allowed, they look at what the norm should be when you are sitting in a public place. This action comes from the understanding that the next guest should find a better place after they have left the restaurant. We usually believe that the next person will be clearing the place or it will be cleared by the restaurant staff. What I have learned from this is that it’s not just about ‘Us’, it’s about ‘We’. Every country follows a code of conduct and expects its tourists to do the same as we expect tourists to follow the tradition and culture of our country.
Another incident that happened with me as I was in a mini aircraft. I could look into the cockpit. It was night time and I was using my flash to shoot how the pilot is landing and is taking off the aircraft. One of the pilots turned around and told the other pilot ” No Flash”. He did not tell me but he told the co-pilot. But my daughter looked at me in a reprimanding way, saying to me that the pilot is saying, “No Flash allowed “. I looked at my daughter and thought when he tells me, then I will…till then I don’t find any harm if the flashlight is on, then I will go with my consciousness. But is that the way it works?! Then he turned around, pointed out and told me: “Not to use the flash madam, please.” I felt slightly embarrassed for not having heeded in the first place. We tend to be quite stubborn sometimes without even thinking of other people’s safety.
Most of us have experienced this if there are 3 to 4 queues and you find the queue that you are in, is not moving fast. Our first tendency is to leave and join the other queue that is moving fast. After that, I realize that the queue I left, is not moving fast. I wanted to go back and join my previous queue, but they’re already 3 people who have moved in and those 3 people will ask me to join them behind. But the argument will be that I was in front before and for support, we ask the others, that don’t they remember that I was behind them. This is a natural tendency. If you know, if there is enough for everybody, it doesn’t matter whether you are first in the queue or last in the queue. If you think, they have got stuff for the first 10 people and you are 15th, you tend to beat the traffic. So that you get your share and don’t think about other people.
These are some of the cultural nuances which I thought of sharing with my readers. Stay tuned as I share more such experiences from my trip to Seychelles!
Below are the few of the bags which I saw at the airport.