October 21, 2008

Running on Empty

I'm feeling less than maverick-y today. The past few days have been a whirlwind of events - some better than others. Two friends got married in the span of about 24 hours and with the pre-party, actual weddings and work deadlines, I'm shattered. Not too shattered to pick out some pretty hilarious excerpts from this Washington Post article on India's recent implementation of a smoking ban though. The article suggests that protests in the country are about as common as finding an Indian anywhere else in the world, and efforts to curb "anti-social behaviors" have been pretty useless. Take, for example:

"Although hotel bars of a certain size are permitted to designate smoking rooms, smokers at this bar trickled onto the dance floor and up to the bar, all the while ordering cigarettes off the menu and lighting up. "

Eh, nothing special there. I've seen people smoking in bars in London after they implemented their smoking ban.

The following are the real zingers:

"Last year, an attempt to ban public urination proved so fruitless that a popular newspaper started a shame campaign, publishing photos of violators in the middle of the act. It sold papers. But the men relieving themselves curbside seemed unbothered."

I've never seen more public urination than I did in India. My friend's grandmother went so far as to build the wall around her house at a slant so that potential pissers would be deterred, but I'm not sure to what extent this was successful. Also, I took these photos while stopped at a red light. The total time between the four photos was about ten seconds.

And then you have this:

"Scooters and motorcycles constitute a majority of the vehicles on Indian roads, and a helmet law is technically in place. But many women refuse to wear them, arguing that it messes up their hair. The law is also not enforceable for Sikhs, who wear turbans. "

Umm, it messes up your hair? Have you SEEN your hair?! It's straight. Give me a break.

And finally:

"Last week, New Delhi's government announced that it would start enforcing parking rules in a city where cars are often left on sidewalks or atop grassy knolls. But police protested, saying that only a handful of metal boots were available, and that they were too heavy to haul around in the hot weather. "

Because, God forbid, you actually did your job. And really, in a country of a billion people, there are only a handful of metal boots? This is a far cry from proper urban planning.

In other news, I think the pomegranates I left in the fridge at work last week have fermented. Is that even possible? I brought them in to work on Wednesday, was home sick on Thursday, and was too busy Sunday and Monday to have lunch. This mid-morning snack has definitely brightened my day! Here's hoping I'm not dead (or blind) by this evening.

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