I want to ask the people that sometimes. For some reasons I just find myself doing what most people do.
Going to work in the mornings, I find myself jumping on the moving trains like everyone else, jumping off like everyone else before it stop and sprinting like everyone else to the next stop as if I am in a hurry but the thing is I am not late nor in a hurry at all. When I first came here, I was annoyed with the whole lot of pushing to get into the train but now I find myself pushing and knocking away anyone out of my way to get in. It just feel funny, taking my time and walking in the train station while everyone else is pushing, rushing, sprinting, all in a hurry to get where they want. I feel like an alien that way so I just got this urge to do like everyone else – you could call it involuntary. I still get annoys sometimes though, when they accidentally push me on my butt because some of them are so short – or maybe I am too tall.
I caught myself a few times rocking my head from side to side like the Indians when people are talking to me but will it be offensive if a foreigner just come here and imitate the people? I wondered. Slowly, I am starting to use my right hand to eat, more often. Before that I usually use my left hand and I wondered if the people think I am nasty?
The thing is, the more I do these things like the Indians, the less I feel like an outsider but it doesn’t take away the fact that I am still an outsider, no matter what. I am reminded everyday of that. People still turn to look at me; the rickshaw drivers won’t give me my change unless I demanded it. I guess he felt that foreigners are rich so they have changes to spare. This cab driver, upon seeing me suddenly decided a fare, never mind that they should follow the cost on the meter. “250 Rs.” He said before we even get into the cab. As we reach my destination, the meter reads 65 Rs. but still he wants 250 Rs. I refused to give him 250 and kept pointing at the meter, “Its 65 Rs…. 65!” “No, you 250” He kept saying. When I asked my friends, they said he was charging too much. “You look like a foreigner to him.”
So I guess I still have a very long way to go or no luck at all. Once a foreigner, always a foreigner?