Someone left a comment on my blog about the security in 5 star hotels and how people were starting to complain because they found it intrusive and that it took away from the hospitality of the hotels.
It made me think about the security in India. It's not just something that's found in fancy hotels--almost any public store, restaurant, or even park or monument has metal detectors, guards, and mandatory bag and body checks before you go in. Sure, it can get a little tedious at times, and even slightly intrusive (as yet another female guard pats me down to make sure I'm not hiding anything in my bra), but it's also reassuring, especially after what happened in Mumbai. I'm sorry, but having to wait five minutes in a security line is a lot better than dying in a bomb blast.
The security measures also show yet another way in which men and women are treated differently. Men are asked to go through the metal detector and then are checked right after they pass through the door by the guards there. Women, on the other hand, sometimes don't even have to go through the main door. Instead, we are ushered into this little curtained enclosure where a female guard goes through our bag (most of them just check inside it, but sometimes you have to turn your cell phones off, etc.) and then we're searched there. God forbid any man should see a woman being searched with a hand held metal detector--they might not be able to restrain themselves! I guess I do appreciate the privacy, but in that case men should have their own little space too--I'm sure it's just as embarrassing for them. Or maybe this country with it's constant insistence on differentiating between the genders is just starting to get on my nerves.
OK...now, off to Mysore for the weekend with CIEE!