Archive for the ‘ Hong Kong ’ Category

India is not way behind!

When I gave him ₹ 50/- with a usual smile, he smiled back and said rather apologetically, “Sir, it’s ₹ 65/-“. I was a bit surprised but without exhibiting it I said “Sorry” and gave him ₹15/- more. Then, he asked me about my visit to a couple of foreign countries.

I took leave of him and finished certain personal works before going to a wayside teashop. I had a cup of tea and gave the owner ₹ 3/- as usual. “Sir, it’s ₹ 5/-“. Again I was somewhat surprised. Slowly I was getting used to this upward trend as I was returning home after buying several items at rate much higher than I expected. But, a pleasant surprise was awaiting. A couple of English News Papers hitherto unavailable in Ooty were seen in many shops. I bought a reputed News Paper and gave the shop keeper ₹ 5/- and moved off, but to my surprise he called me and gave me ₹ 3.50/-, saying “it is ₹ 1.50/-“

Then as expected the taxi and auto fares are much higher. We had been in Vancouver for about 8 months and on our return journey, we stayed in Netherlands for a month or so. I used to boast to my kith and kin over there that the cost of living in India was much, much lower, “A cup of tea is just ₹3/- or ₹4/- and a cup of coffee is ₹5/- or ₹6/-. What about other items compared to all these expensive items here?”

I did expect some marginal increase in the cost of essential items in India but the steep hike taught me a lesson – Things here in India are not all that cheap… Beware!

“No Newspapers Please”!

When you visit places… I mean some foreign countries, far away from your homeland, you become curious. Their way of life, their language, their customs, their behavior; why, everything about them gives you a strange feeling, a thrill rather. Whether you are in Hong Kong or Vancouver, it is this aspect which you are curious about, even when you visit tourist spots.

The best way to know about the people in the cities of such countries is to have an eye on the natives who visit the shopping malls or a public library.

Vancouver is a cosmopolitan city where you come across people whose origins are from Europe or Africa or Asia [predominantly whites from Europe who speak English]. One thing which I admire is the fact that some of the local newspapers are free of cost and made available through boxes placed on sidewalks, though this free service is not availed by many! On top of this I could get an idea about people’s indifference to the local dailies when I saw “no newspapers please” boards in front of many houses, a la ‘beware of dogs’, ‘no parking in front of houses’ etc which are common in India. But can we imagine ‘no newspapers, please’ in India?