I have been witness to some not-so-cool traits of my fellow Indians when they fly international. Some of the stuff is hilarious, some annoying, some controllable and some we are born with. So what are these? Read and find out:
1. Don’t follow the queue, or in a hurry to get out first
Expect to stand solemnly in a queue and have a bunch of desis near you? Well, I am not so sure. We Indians are so much inspired by the rat race, we are in a hurry here too, whether it means being ahead in the queue, being the first to get your boarding pass stamped or the first to pull out your bag as soon as the plane lands. It has something to do with winning, getting ahead or gives us a sense of victory to be the first person boarding the flight, somehow.
2. Put all your heavy baggage on top of “others” seats
Walk right into your seat, your earphones plugged in and ready to enjoy your flight? Hold that thought for a second. Just before you make yourself comfortable and open the shelf to hoist your cabin bag, chances are it already has someone else’s. You can’t help but put your bag in a different place altogether.
3. Talk loudly on the phone or with each other
Well ,we are well known for our high pitch and affable talk .We do have the tendency to get excited at the slightest pretext whether we talk to another person or on the phone. Now this ridiculously unknown habit comes into picture when one is on a long flight. People who are in transit and are trying to catch a few winks are at times woken up by the loud guffaw on the phone or to two chatter-box Indians talking animatedly. Dude, you are not in your home; you are on an international flight.
4. Laugh loudly while enjoying the in-flight entertainment
Okay, so you have seven hours to kill and just don’t have the habit of sleeping in flights. Big deal! You have the in-flight entertainment and can watch probably your cricket match you missed the other day and the movie that you had been dying to see .Result? Your fellow-next-seat-French would hear the live commentary of cricket and shed a few tears on the soggy -movie you are watching. Keep it low.
5. Talk in a funny accent with strangers
Now, I don’t know where we get it from, but it’s natural for us to start speaking in an accent when we see someone non-Indian .It is another thing to develop a particular accent when you are living abroad for a long time, but then to splutter some funny accent as soon as you see some white-skinned folks, that’s funny and awkward. Be proud of your neutral accent and talk that way you do with an Indian friend. Be sure to mind your “Nas”, “Huhs” and “Acchas” though!
6. Drink as if it is the last day on earth
Yes, it is free alcohol. No, it is not okay to drink like 10 glasses of wine. Simply because something is free, it doesn’t mean that you have it unabashedly. Best things in life are surely free, but so much alcohol is bad for your health and your “reputation” too.
7. Try to gawk at girls … here too!
We do have this category of flirts here too, like in our Indian railways .On the pretext of going to the bathroom to and fro, some use the golden opportunity to pass a good look at the girl that they saw boarding the flight with them or the red-head who wore a short dress. Oh grow up, not here for god’s sake!
8. Make small talk with random strangers
Yes, you need to kill time when you are flying for long journey but remember that this is not India. People don’t like to talk to random strangers that too for long conversations like ours. Make acquaintances , maybe exchange pleasantries or contact numbers but please don’t narrate the story of your last break up or criticize your boss to a guy you just met 15 minutes back!
9. Have babies who create ‘ruckus’
There is a huge difference between non-desi kids and ours. Somehow our kids shout and wail the loudest in a quiet flight when people are trying their best to catch a wink of sleep. And nothing in this world will calm them down. Poor parents are met with sleepy and tired glances of fellow passengers. Alas, our kids are programmed to cry and do the things that they are not supposed to.
10. Love to say that they are not desi
Now this is something that I detest the most. Irrespective of the fact that they have lived 2 or 20 years abroad or they are talking to a fellow Indian or a foreigner, Indians usually try to flaunt how much non-desi they have become living abroad .Maybe, marrying a foreigner, getting a permanent residence permit, knowing the language, getting a driver’s license is a huge accomplishment in a way but then how does it change the fact that you are ultimately still an Indian? You look Indian, you have Indian genes and it is good that you are going around the globe, but at the cost of an identity crisis? Well, I would worry.