May 20, 2008

Chicken burrito with no chicken please!!

Posted in Uncategorized at 4:53 am by RJ

In about 2.5 years, I have travelled enough to observe the antics performed by our people in flights. An acrid debate would follow which believes this is just an exception of crowd – but it is indeed a larger exception. A bunch of aviophobic people packing the dhoklas, teplas and farsan get onto the bird. Believe me packing your teplas is not bad – it’s indeed a good idea but we also need to understand and respect the culture of the visiting nation.

I would like to share my experience during my flight from JFK to BOM. I was busy enjoying the movie Hera Pheri after my dinner. The smiling Punjabi family next to me was loud to the extent that the sound scale was over a 100 decibel and it could penetrate my headphones to the ear drums. The head of the family wanted to come out(he was seated in a center seat) for his bio-break (10th time in 4 hours!!). I decided to do some stretching, given no choice but to get up from my aisle seat. There was some space close to the emergency exit door and I decided to stand there for sometime till my Punjabi neighbour could get it. He decided to join me and started talking about his kids, their American wives, specifically the Black American wife of the younger son, bad service in the flight almost everything when I patiently waited for him to finish and get back to his seat which would allow me enjoy my rest of the movie. By this time, an air hostess passed by and shes asked us, “Sir, would you like some ice-cream?” I said, “No, thanks”. My dear Punjabi friend replied, “Oye, ice-cream ko chod, beer-sheer hojaye!”. She just smiled and walked away.

Now this is not the only problem we carry on our backs. We start to believe that for the hefty sum we paid for the economy class we should get all that’s available. The so called whites look down upon Asians for many reasons – lack of hygiene, lack of dressing sense, loud talking, rushing for no reason, no patience, anger, uncool attitude, too much involvement in other people’s life and the list goes on.

We all need to also understand that we as Indian travellers, Indian software engineers, Indian doctors, Indian shop-keepers in a foreign land are brand ambassadors of India and at all times should be proud to represent our country at par with others. A bit of decency, a bit of awareness of the other culture is very important during travelling and living in a different nation.

Another funny incident that shook me was when I went to this Mexican joint called “Taco-Bell” with one of my vegetarian friend. She was quick enough to tell “A chicken burrito with no chicken please!!”. My reaction was, “What??!” and she smiled and said “Chalta hain!”. The “chalta hain” is a killer word!

We can either think and improve ourselves or learn from others. The other option is to say, “Saala desi, yahan aake bhi sudregaa nahi!!”

Keep smiling, keep posting!


  1. Neetu said,

    This one was cool!!! bro but it shouldn’t happen that the habit of using knives and forks leads to tearing of the banana leaf when you come back  But yes I do agree, knowing a bit about the culture and general habits will minimize embarrassments during our stay 

  2. Chaitanya said,

    I totally agree with the flight etiquette. But the Chicken burritto with no chicken is sometimes the only option for Veggies like me. Its not “chalta hai” attitude but more of a necessity. My landlady in CT, who is 72 and born here says ALWAYS ask for what you want. Even if they don’t have it on the Menu, they might oblige. The Chicken burritto with no chicken works in US and not in India bcoz here people are more understanding about others’ needs.

  3. RJ said,

    @Chaitanya – I cannot believe you more that it works. But I would not want to be in a position where somebody stares at me coz’ I asked something very unusual. I would try to avoid – perhaps its just me.

    But then, I did not think for the veggies – my bad if I hurt any sentiments.

    Keep smiling and keep commenting

  4. RJ said,

    @Chaitanya – Even then, I think the right way to order would be “Burrito with no meat” 😀

    Your comments?

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