Elections

Elections

The clichés are flowing thick and fast today, which almost sounds like a cliché in itself. Today is the first day of voting in the Indian elections, but I will spare you the usual “ world’s biggest democracy” line. I, of course, as a tax-paying resident foreigner am not allowed to vote. Don’t get me started on the no taxation without representation speech, it will bore everyone to tears, but I reckon my own blog is a fair enough place to vent a little.

Being a foreigner in India has, undoubtedly, many advantages,  and usually much courtesy is extended, but there are also times when you want to scream.  Take today, for example.

I went for a swim this morning at the Delhi Gymkhana club, where I swim every day. After I had finished, the lifeguard came up to me and asked me if I was a member of the club. Treating him to my best, withering sarcasm in Hindi I replied that I was, that I had been a member of the club for over 20 years, that I swam every day, and that shouldn’t he rather have asked me that before I started swimming rather than afterwards? I think the poor man was a little overwhelmed, so he replied very politely that he was a new lifeguard, and that it wouldn’t happen again.

Slightly modified by his polite apology, I ordered a coconut water, as I do every day after my swim.  “Are you a member of the club?” asked the man who prepares the drinks. Then when the waiter brought it to me, he asked “Are you a member of the club?”

Beats me how Sonia Gandhi ever made it to be the de facto leader of this country. Perhaps I should start wearing a sari.

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