Saturday, January 31, 2009

The ubiquitous "I'm a woman" post I feel like this is really obvious, but I'm getting annoyed with being a girl right now. Even the some of the other guys on the program feel like they need to treat me differently. It's actually not so bad, but there have been a few things lately that are just combining to make me mad.

First of all, if you go somewhere with only other girls, rickshaw drivers think that it's okay to rip you off. A lot. The fact that we're white and don't speak any Indian language probably doesn't help at all, but I think we tend to get treated better when there is a guy in the group. I've had three bad experiences in a row--including one driver who got really angry and started shouting and sticking his finger in my friend's face when we wouldn't pay him more than the agreed upon price. Then he started following us into the university...the wrong gate, by the way, since he refused to take us to the main gate where we had asked him to take us.

My gender is also proving to be a hindrance when it comes to making friends. In the States, I am much more likely to go up to a strange guy and be friendly than a girl. It's not that I'm flirting or anything or looking for anything more than a friend, that's just who I am. Girls intimidate me. But here I can't do that. The guys who are willing to talk to me are the creepy ones. There's that, and then there's the fact that even the other American guys on the program don't really like to go out with us--according to my one friend he feels like he has to protect us when we go out, and it's tiring. He also won't let us hang out with him and his Indian friends because then the girls in that group wouldn't like him as much (apparently a lot of Indian girls see white girls as competition).

And then of course there's all the guys in the street who stare at us as we pass in the rickshaw or come up to us and ask to take pictures with us. It gets a little tiring after a while.

Also, I would like to wear a tank top out of the hostel. I changed into a ribbed tank top this evening, just to wear around, and realized that for the first time I was wearing an outfit that I would probably wear at home.

Despite my being fed up with the entire male population right now, India is still good. I know something that sounds kind of like a song on the sitar, and Hindi is starting to differentiate itself into words--I can't understand what the words are, but I least I can recognize them. Also, I've decided to apply for publishing internships this summer. I probably won't get any of them (I'm applying to all the big ones because they're the ones that pay), but at least I'll feel like I'm doing something. So I've been slowly killing myself over revising my resume and writing cover letters.


  1. Yay publishing! Perhaps something near Vestal/Rochester?

  2. Oh Emily! That does suck...
    I'm kind of waiting for situations like that to materialize here in Sicily, but I haven't been here long enough (or know enough Italian) for it yet, I don't think. I a lot of people will say, "Americani" when we walk by or "bella!" to the blonde students, but that's all that I can understand so far.


  3. A suggestion from my adventures in Egyptian cab fares--bring a piece of paper and a pen and have them write down the agreed upon fare. If they're difficult about doing it you can pretend you don't understand what they're saying and you just need it to catch what they're saying... Worked for me, anyway.

    Unfortunately, it won't make you more friends, in fact it will probably lower your chance of making friends with rickshaw drivers and cabbies.