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A Very Important Conversation March 15, 2010

Posted by KG in Etc., India, Mumbai.

Cataloging specific moments of insanity witnessed daily in Mumbai would be Sisyphean. Even a smaller subset — ridiculous things seen in stores, for example — would be a near-endless task. And the set of “insane things seen on the road” is decidedly huge. For example: at least once a week, we drive past three St. Bernards on their daily walk. The average daytime temperature in Mumbai is around 90 degrees F. The average Mumbai apartment is easily less than 1,000 square feet. And no one but the extremely rich have a yard. I leave the math to you.

But this isn’t about those dogs, whose utterly cute existence makes absolutely no sense. This is about the absolute inability of Mumbaikers/Bombayites to remain out of touch, if even for a moment. People talk on their cell phones at the gym, during a spinning class. They check their Blackberries during downward dog. They call people while eating, possibly during a romantic dinner, possibly at one of the most expensive restaurants in town. They talk on the phone while getting a haircut. There are times when, I guess, you really need to talk on the phone. I maintain that during a haircut is not one of those times.

Maybe this is just another example of how conservative I am when it comes to technology. I leave my phone at home, occasionally. There are times I don’t want to talk to people, and want to remain out of touch. I’m happy with that. Maybe checking the Blackberry during yoga isn’t weird at all, and I’m just a guy with hangups. But I think I found the bright red line of “that is absolutely not okay,” and I think everyone with half a brain will agree with me.

Saturday morning, walking home from the gym, a guy driving a motorcycle swerved by me. He was talking loudly, saying, basically, that he was almost at someone’s house. He was talking into on a handheld cell phone. While driving the motorcycle. Oh, and with a lit cigarette. How? The phone was tucked between his shoulder and his ear, leaving a hand free for the smoke.

I’d left my phone home, as I normally do when I go to the gym. Stupid! It has a camera. I really need to start documenting these moments.



1. Phebevenus - March 15, 2010

Coincidentally, the secretary just put you on the Arrival List today. Exciting!

2. A Daring Adventure - March 19, 2010

It’s Friday, and that means that the Fifth Weekly State Department Blog Roundup is up – and you’re on it!

Here is the link:


(If I quoted your text or used your photo(s) and you would rather I had not, please let me know. Please also be sure to check the link(s) that I put up to you, in order to verify that they work properly. If you would rather that I had not referenced you, and/or do not want me to reference you in the future, please also contact me.)


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