[Assam] Indians are unruly passengers - TOI
assamrs at gmail.com
Mon Sep 11 01:04:38 EDT 2006
>Indians in general are not used to plane travel and
>ecstatic at the opportunity and feel they have arrived
--and thus are kings of teh world. Westerners on the
>other hand are terriefied of plane travel -esp after
Really! I don't think so. Today more than ever planes are a pretty common
way to travel. And then what about restaurants? Are those also "new" to
No, Umesh, there are other reasons.
Many in the West go to restaurants for the ambience (and ease), not for the
food itself. Many desis go to the restaurant for food (after all, thats what
restaurants are supposed to deliver), and many desis fly to the desh and
love carrying everthing but the kitchen sink (jote jaun, xompothi logot loi
While travelling, the emphasis for the Western traveller is comfort, ease of
travel, and not in the least - thinking also of fellow passengers.
Airports in India are just rank deplorable. These have been renovated and
modernized a number of times. But any time you visit these airports, they
are usually filthy, and the restrooms are aweful. Mumbai,Delhi or Kolkatta
are no better. It is simple, the people who are supposed to maintain the
airports, just don't work. The officials are usually rude, and flights are
often delayed or cancelled on a regular basis (specially Indian Airlines).
It is a common practice to (be on the safe side) reach a day in advance to
catch an international flight - any travel agent in India will advice you.
Passengers make a mad rush to board planes, get out on landing, collect
their baggage, and grab a cab.
For Guwahati, my advice is make sure you arrive on a holiday (except
Independence/Republic Day) or on the weekend. That way you avoid the 'drop
of the hat' Assam bandhos. Same advice on your return. Cabbies at Guwahati
don't like the 'pre-pay' business or simply plying fares. Their usual
attitude is - ' Chandmari nejaon deok ... oi Prafullo, toi Chandmari jabi
neki? (I won't go to Chandmari, Prafullo will you go to Chandmari?). I have
no idea why they even bother sitting there outside the airport.
But what about the desis who are in the US (some for many years)? Why have
they not shed their attitudes whether its in a restaurant or in a flight?
Many of them are just crude and have absolutely no idea what public behavior
demands. This is true of many who are well educated and well-to-do, I am
sorry to say.
I am saying all this, not with an attitude of looking down on our desi
brothers and sisters, but unfortunately this is what the experience.
On 9/10/06, umesh sharma <jaipurschool at yahoo.com> wrote:
> Indians in general are not used to plane travel and
> ecstatic at the opportunity and feel they have arrived
> --and thus are kings of teh world. Westerners on the
> other hand are terriefied of plane travel -esp after
> terrorist attacks. However, I have seen very jumpy
> Latinos and Black kids who were traveling on planes
> for the first or second times. Loud and happy.
> The guy who was shouting to the air-hostess on the
> plane for food -was perhaps aware of the poor
> reputation of service on Indian Airlines planes
> (flying coffins as they are called many times) so did
> not want his flight experience to be less ecstatic due
> to the fault of some flight-crew.
> It is a matter of education. When I first arrived in
> US -Boston's Youth Hostel --I did not take a hot
> shower there for many days - since I did not know how
> to operate the taps and was too afraid to ask .
> Similarly, a roommate who came last Jan in Washington
> DC - did not like to use tissues after using the
> toilet --preferd to use water -Indian style. A white
> American roommate who generally is very genial was
> disgusted - and that guy had to come downstairs to use
> our toilet -- he imporved after he was advised --but
> habits change hard. Very recently he accompanied me
> to the ISKCON chariot fest in Los Angeles beach where
> he has moved to.
> Have you noticed how rural folk behave when they come
> to big towns -in India. Thats just the behavior of
> Indians coming to developed nations for the first
> time. Everyone learns -but slowly. Just like
> Westerners learn but slowly how to cross Indian or
> Thai roads.
> --- Ram Sarangapani <assamrs at gmail.com> wrote:
> > Though it is difficult to generalize, I have often
> > found this to be true, at
> > least in many instances. Many passengers treat the
> > plane are their ancestral
> > property.
> > One of the biggest complaints I have is of the
> > condition of the restrooms
> > after about 10 minutes into flight.
> > My experience with India bound flights (specially
> > Air India), is the utter
> > disregard for cleanliness of restrooms during long
> > flights. The restrooms
> > are usually strewn with toilet paper, are wet,
> > stenchy and unflushed.
> > But I hear, its is the same situation with PIA and
> > Bangladesh Biman. One can
> > hear stewardesses being yelled at as 'ai mem sahib,
> > mero ko khanna naih diya
> > abhi thak' (translated roughly - ai lady (who speaks
> > Ingrazi), why haven't
> > you given me any food yet)).
> > But this is not just on flights. Last evening, we
> > went out to a recommended
> > restaurant called 'Mayuri' for a quiet evening. To
> > our dismay, it was one of
> > the noisiest Desi restaurant ever. As our luck would
> > have it, there was a
> > birthday bash in the 'party room' - loud, lousy
> > music, and a compere
> > shouting at the top of his voice in a bad desi
> > accent topped it off.
> > In the restaurant dining area, desi kids (those
> > precious kids) were running
> > all over the place, while their doting parents
> > assumed that the rest of the
> > diners would obviously be so gratified if the brats
> > kept coming at you.
> > There was one guy, with a huge (proud) smile on his
> > face, watching his
> > bratty kid visit all the tables. Add all this to the
> > usually high decibel
> > level when desis gather around, and you can kiss you
> > quiet evening goodbye.
> > So, I thought, well, might as well make my
> > pilgrimage to the restroom - but
> > the Gods wern't kind - should've known - it was a
> > desi restaurant, why on
> > earth would the restroom be clean - it defies logic?
> > This restroom was worse
> > than the one in an Air India flight.
> > Most desi restaurants in the Houston are loud and
> > garish. It is quite
> > possible that desis equate loud, noisy places as
> > *'good, cheap, food*' - *
> > ambience* be damned.
> > It is possible, though, I was just having a lousy
> > evening to begin with:-)
> > --Ram
> > ______________________
> > MUMBAI: While the debate rages on whether the 12
> > Indian detained by the
> > Dutch police on Wednesday were victims of racial
> > profiling, flight
> > attendants feel Indian passengers habitually ignore
> > instructions of the
> > cabin crew while on board.
> > An Indian Airlines attendant who flies on the
> > Kolkata-Bangkok sector says,
> > "These so-called educated passengers do not switch
> > off their cell phones
> > when they are asked to do so, and still make calls
> > when the plane is ready
> > for take off or is landing. Before the plane halts,
> > they jump up from their
> > seats and open the baggage. They ignore the 'seat
> > belt on' signs. It's
> > really tiring to attend to such passengers."
> > Referring to the North West Airlines flight in which
> > the Indian passengers
> > apparently refused to follow instructions of the
> > crew, the attendant said,
> > "If we were to follow such strict rules in India,
> > then every flight would
> > have to make emergency landing."
> > Unlike the NorthWest Airlines crew, emergency
> > landings are frowned upon in
> > India. The duty of the cabin crew to keep an eagle
> > eye on passenger's
> > behaviour is almost taken for granted.
> > Explaining the predicament, an Airhostess says,
> > "Even if we are forced to
> > enforce the rules because of such passengers, we are
> > not supposed to leave
> > our seats until we are instructed by the captain."
> > According to cabin crews, first-time flyers and
> > couriers are the ones who
> > are mostly to blame. "As these passengers fly
> > frequently, they are often
> > upgraded to the better section under the
> > frequent-flyer programme. They
> > spend the duration of the flight moving up and down
> > the plane to be with
> > colleagues in the Economy Class which causes a lot
> > of confusion inside the
> > aircraft," feels one of the cabin crews.
> > Crew members also complain about passengers behaving
> > badly after a couple of
> > drinks on sectors like Bangkok, which have a
> > free-bar service.
> > An NRI who travelled by North West from Amsterdam to
> > Mumbai earlier this
> > year, said though he thought the behaviour of the
> > flight crew in this week's
> > incident "smacked of racial discrimination", Indian
> > passengers often behaved
> > inappropriately.
> > He recalled an earlier flight in which on landing at
> > the Mumbai airport,
> > even before the 'seat belt on' sign was put up, most
> > Indian passengers had
> > unbuckled their belts and sprung from their seats.
> > "Their cell phones had
> > begun to ring when they were supposed to keep them
> > switched off. Only after
> > the airhostess sternly told them that no one would
> > be allowed to get down
> > did they obey her instructions."
> > In stark contrast, an airhostess who flies in the
> > international sector,
> > says, "Foreigners and NRIs are totally different in
> > international airways.
> > They even ask for permission to listen to music on
> > their personal electronic
> > devices. In fact, we might be losing some good
> > travellers. We have come
> > across passengers who have appreciated our services
> > but have told us they
> > would never to fly our airline because of unruly
> > co-passengers who are a
> > nuisance."
> > Also, due to intense competition, airlines often
> > have to put up with badly
> > behaved passengers. An airline pilot can offload an
> > unruly passenger, but he
> > refrains from doing so because a rival pilot may not
> > take similar action.
> > However, say flight attendants, if all airlines
> > begin to take strict action
> > against disobedient passengers, it would go a long
> > way in creating better
> > flying conditions. They suggest the Ministry of
> > Civil Aviation and the
> > Directorate General of Civil Aviation should
> > consider such a proposal.
> > > _______________________________________________
> > assam mailing list
> > assam at assamnet.org
> Umesh Sharma
> 5121 Lackawanna ST
> College Park, MD 20740 USA
> Current temp. address: 5649 Yalta Place , Vancouver, Canada
> 1-202-215-4328 [Cell Phone]
> Canada # (607) 221-9433
> Ed.M. - International Education Policy
> Harvard Graduate School of Education,
> Harvard University,
> Class of 2005
> weblog: http://jaipurschool.bihu.in/
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