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Daily annoyances, Indian edition.

It took me a year and half to come up with enough annoyances to write about, which makes Indians—in my estimation—less annoying than some other nationalities (I’m talking about you, East Germans). Though once I started, I could suddenly think of many things…

I’m not sure it’s diplomatic to write these things down, but it’s all in good cheer, and I think there’s nothing shocking in this list. For me, they’re only minor annoyances. I don’t lose my cool over them, not in public and not at home.

I used to be a hothead a a child, and I showcased strong emotions in my former life as an actress, but now I lost the will to get angry and tell people off, and perhaps even the ability. When people are rude or annoying nowadays I merely react surprised, bemused, and occasionally stunned.

But: if I were still to carry my emotions and opinions about people on my sleeve, here is the stuff I would be saying in India:

1 “Get in line. It’s not your turn.” (Okay, I have said this out loud a few times)

2 “And while you’re in line, don’t bump into me from behind all the time.”

3 “You are an Uber driver. You can see my location on your phone. No need to call me every time to discuss.”

4 “Also, I just told you I don’t speak Hindi. Continuing to speak rapid Hindi on the phone isn’t going to help matters.”

5 “And stopping the car to spit out a huge wad of paan makes it hard for me to give you a five star rating.”

6 “Especially since I was already disappointed that you stuffed the seatbelts away so I can’t protect myself against your reckless driving.”

7 “When I say I don’t want any spice in my food, please don’t bring me something with fresh hot chilies in it.”

8 “I’m in this supermarkt with a specific idea of what I want to buy. Stop offering random suggestions like sea weed powder.”

9  “I’m jogging and I’m in my workout clothes so: no, I don’t need a rickshaw ride right now.”

10 “We’re a table of six people. Why do you think giving us two restaurant menus is enough?”

11 “I would like my drink before my meal please, not after.”

12 “Don’t watch loud videos on your phone sitting next to me on a plane when I’m trying to sleep. Ever heard op AirPods?”

13 “I’m not tipping you for taking my suitcase to the taxi, because you literally yanked it out of my hands. Also, it was only five steps to the car.”

14 “I’m not staying for dinner if dinner is after 10 PM. I’m starving.”

15 “Don’t stop clapping or leave the venue when the performers haven’t even finished their bows yet.”

16 “My six-year old daughter doesn’t want to talk to you or take pictures with you, because she doesn’t know you.”

17 “Do you know what the word no means?”

18 “Why did you spray water all over the toilet seat?!!”

19 “Do these white stripes on the road mean nothing to you?!”

20 “Stop honking.”

21 “I asked for your own professional opinion, please just give one.”

22 “Just because I’m from the U.S./Europe doesn’t mean I need super special treatment. I’m just a person.”

That’s about it, I think. My gripes are mostly with people trying to help or do their jobs, and hinge on small cultural differences, so I can’t really get mad about it. Except for the people—mostly women—who cut lines and act like they don’t understand me when I say something about it. That makes my blood boil.

I could easily follow this up with a dozen incredibly kid things Indians have done for me, unprompted, in the past year and a half. Translating and otherwise helping to navigate the country comes to mind. But that’s not what this post is about..! Maybe next time ;)


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