Hey there! So this morning on my way to the university I just got this idea to blog about the similarities I’ve noticed between both countries. So here is my two cents about it.
Ok, so I’ve been here for 2 years and I don’t get the feeling that the place is gonna get clean anytime soon. While I lived in Nigeria, the government organized a monthly environmental sanitation routine(Exclusively in Port Harcourt) that took place every first Saturday of the month. Nobody was allowed to open stalls, kiosks or businesses of any kind until 10am. And I think it was somewhat effective because everybody was forced to stay at home and clean their gutters and throw the garbage at the dump and all those sort of things, since they didn’t want to be caught by the police or JTF(Joint Task Force) who would extort money from them, without any questioning from the government. But just 4-5hours of clean up on a saturday morning cannot account for the remaining 29 or 30days left in the month so it was a saturday I especially looked forward to.
In India, I don’t think that happens but on an alternative they use manual labour which I also think is best for a country with this size of a population. At least, people don’t have to sit at home doing nothing they can get the job done and be paid. But these manual labourers seem to work only in the city i.e the places where anyone(tourists) who enters into the city might see, not the sub urban areas(developing areas/where I freaking live). But a careful look at the hand work of these people seems like a waste to me when – people eat sweets and snacks by the roadside and have no bins to throw the wraps into ( also in Nigeria). Another thing is the dung on the roadside. Walking on the road takes a very tactical mind, manoeuvrings by a very skillful set of legs and feet and finally an eye that can distinguish between, cow poo, mud, human faeces and goat shit. Need I forget the dog piss, just to divert a little, why do they allow these stray dogs to be around them, they don’t treat the dogs like pets anyway and every 2 weeks I read an article in the newspaper about an infant bitten/eaten to death by a stray dog straying into a hospital and straying away with a baby. “It happens only in India”-this is a song by the way. Sorry I forgot to add – the tobacco spitting every frigging where.
More People seem to Fit into a Small Vehicle and the Tendency to have bad Roads
In short, if the manufacturers of the bus made it for 10 people be sure that at least 20 people can get into that bus and there will be some space remaining to pick up passengers on the roadside as you proceed to your destination.This happens in both Countries.The BAD ROADS means BUMPS, and enough body contact from sneezing Suresh to coughing Rakesh and spitting Mukesh, get my point?
Right now its winter in Jaipur and its really cold for me, so imagine you just got out of bed,barely, took a shower which you’re not too happy with because you have to wait for 5 to 7mins for the water to reheat, with water on your bare body and did I mention that its really cold? You dress up, get to the bus stand after battling the morning fog, only to find out that you’ll be sharing your front seat made for 1 person with two other Indian men who don’t give a damn about you. They step on the shoe you managed to clean/ polish because its just the way things go and when you try to ask for at least an “I’m sorry”, they talk shit about you being a foreigner and think you don’t understand what they are saying because they are in fact speaking Hindi. You get out of the bus to take the next bus to college and you are jam packed like human sardines waiting to be shipped to the Forbidden Land of Human Sardines. By now your black shoe is somewhere between off white and light brown. You arrive late for classes because your driver stopped every 30secs to pick a passenger in the already overloaded bus.
I sure as hell can’t blame them whether Nigerian or Indian because the Economy, Standard of Living and Cost of Living for people like them who are not privileged to have the finer things of life have to go throw this every blessed day to make ends meet and to provide bread and butter for their children. Which brings us to point number three.
Having more Children than You can Carter For
Speaking for myself and where I come from I would say illiteracy, traditional customs and also human nature to give birth to children after marriage are the causes of giving birth to children you sure as hell can’t provide for. I can’t really say much about India but on my way to college every morning in this cold, I see these mothers whom you’ll know are very hungry trying to breastfeed in the cold with no roof over their heads. These babies, kids whatever you call them don’t even have a decent sweater. They are wrapped in blanket like things and I can see that they are suffering. I where two sweaters, a beanie, socks-sometimes two pairs and gloves to school. And these children have less than underwear to cover their you-know-whats. Its painful to see them like this but all I can do right now is have pity and move on because its called LIFE.
Back to my point, if these mothers were educated surely they would have a job thus better income and live in healthier conditions. They would also know that if I can’t provide food for one mouth then I should have less children so that I have lesser mouths to feed at the end of the day. Cultures and traditions where a woman have to give birth to children to show that she’s not cursed should not have any impact on women of the 21st century. Period.
They have most of the things that Nigerians eat. For example Rice, Okra (I call it Okro), Beans(all kinds even more), Suji (Garri’s replacement but not as good), yam but in a circular shape not like the ones back home, Garden egg but its purple in colour, Coconuts, I haven’t found plantains here – I only got them at INA market in Delhi(6 Hours from where I live).
This is all I’ve got for now, feel free to make your suggestions.
please note that my comparisons are based on the cities of Port-Harcourt, Nigeria and Jaipur, India.