Thursday, June 21, 2007

Some things have changed

Spanish seems to be everywhere now. Instructions for everything on every product come in Spanish as well. Home Depot has Spanish translation of nearly every English word they use (wonder what took them this long).

Shops don't require to sign your credit card slips anymore if the total bill is less than $20. I think I scared the Chipotle check out guy by insisting that I need to sign the slip.

There's no Peter Jennings, no Ed Bradley, no Tom Brokaw, no Dan Rather, no Sopranos.

Within the first week of being here a guy at the grocery store started a conversation and talked about India, and actually knew that there was a language called Kannada. In all the years I'd lived here before, Americans always assumed that for some reason I'd decided to talk about Canada when they'd asked me about my mother tongue. Now someone actually knows about Karnataka and Kannada. He also invited himself over for Dosas and Samosas. Two days later an American who'd spent five years in Pakistan asked for detailed instructions on how to make chapaties, and a neighbor (who I met for the first time two weeks ago) asked to borrow my Indian cookbooks so she can make chicken curries. I'd fielded a lot of requests for information about good area Indian restaurants, but never came across anyone who actually wanted to cook Indian dishes.

There's On Demand TV! I don't know if this has happened to you, but very often, when I switch to a movie channel the chances are pretty good that I'll catch a rerun of a movie. For a few days I unfailingly catch the same movie every time and, most frustratingly, will catch it at exactly the same point every time. With On Demand TV, none of that anymore. The movie will start when I want it to.


Anonymous said...

(i) Did not make out the difference with spanish because from the day I arrived here (3 years back)'s the same.
(ii) On Demand is not all that good. There are no good movies and they ask for too much money. I think you should try either BlockBuster Videos or Netflix. It's less expensive and can get the movie of your choice.
(iii) Surprised to know that some people know Kannada. Even my colleagues (inspite of me telling them many times) don't know the difference between Kannada and Canada. They get confused.

Nice post!

- nags

Sherry said...

I love it that many people in America are branching out and trying to learn about other cultures, but it really annoys me when they take it to the extremes and start pretending that they are Japanese, Indian, etc. I know one white girl who memorizes all the words to Bollywood songs (although she can not understand them) and she walks around wearing a salwar kameez all the time.

Sujatha Bagal said...

Nags, I'm talking about free On Demand TV.

Sherry, I forgot to mention this in the post - one afternoon I saw two Caucasian women wearing salwar kameezes and the second lady was really decked up in jewellery and bindi and lots of jangling bangles. I thought it was cute, but I can see what you mean. :)

Chitra said...

Nice post! I am glad we are on the world map now. Long overdue. :)
It is true what Sherry says, sometimes they do take it to the other end.

Sandhya said...

hi sujatha,, mentioned your blog on house sitters to a friend of mine whos studying in Burbank,LA.apart from the website you have mentioned in your blog is there anything he can look at for the house sitting option ??any input would really help as the kid is looking at moving out in some time from the college apartments with the course getting over. thanks

Sunita Venkatachalam said...

You have been away for a long time then.. the spanish and the on-demand TV has been there for quite some time if I remember right. And I mean, whatever happened to TIVO? It was a huge craze atleast in the bay area.. Is that still there?

But, don't you think on the whole things change less in the US than in Bangalore. Everytime I used to make a trip back, I would find so much change, it would be hard to cope. Let me know if this observation is true.

Anonymous said...

Aren't you like the kid at the candy store? :D

mookuthi said...

Nice post!! True People know the difference between kannada and canada!!! Thats something i still have to experience.

To be an indian is so cool. I have friends asking me to buy them indian clothes, jewellery all the time. Yes Chicken curry recipies have been something my coworkers always wanted to try out at home. Esp chicken tikka masala:)
Welcome back

Sujatha Bagal said...

Sandhya, other than the website I mentioned, I would recommend looking at the local craigslist ( for house sitter openings and sometimes the school bulleting boards. Notices may be posted there because a lot of students house sit. Good luck to your friend.

Poppin, the whole TIVO thing passed right by me. Yes, I do agree that on the whole, things change less, but which community can match Bangalore's growth?

DG, that's about right. :)

Chitra, Mookuthi, thanks.

Anonymous said...

"For a few days I unfailingly catch the same movie every time and, most frustratingly, will catch it at exactly the same point every time. " --That has happened to me so many times that I have watched only half the movie every single time... Did you get one of those DVRS.. IT comes as part( rental charges must be extra I think) of the Dish network or Direct Tv package(sometimes there is an extra charge for HD channels) and you can program what you want to record.. No Tapes, CDs required...Never miss a show or watch it whenever you want and skip the commercials... makes things a bit easier if you don't want to miss your favourite show or watch it when you are free not when they are aired....

Sujatha Bagal said...

Yadu, really must try DVR altough when I would have time to actually plan to record something etc. these days is a mystery. The best I can hope for is a few minutes to catch whatever is on. :)