Friday, July 23, 2004

Okay- so I'm in my chartered bus today, along with 14 other buses and we're on Miami University's campus loading up hundreds of mid-to-upper teen Indian girls and boys for a trip to King's Island. Very well behaved and mannered soon-to-be young adults boarded my bus and I thought of how pleasant this was going to easy 15-hour work day.

And it really was. No glitches. Just a massive culture clash is all. For one thing, insert into the equation first and foremost a university catering to this Indian subculture by going all out to host this national youth gathering in an obvious (to me) attempt to garner their parents' funds for their education AND hoist their image to the loftier heights of "diversity."

It was obviously a Hindu youth gathering based on Hindustani (Classical?) music cuz their tee shirts said something about "taal....many beats- one rhythm". Taal is a fundamental element of Hindustani classical music. It was apparently obscure, the intricacies of their religious devotion and their current tasks at they interacted (or didn't). None of the girls/women could ride the bus with the boys/men. They took time to pray (to whom, I know not) after they rode The Beast.

What got me was everytime they got on the bus....any group on ANY bus....they ALL broke out in a Hindi song, a capella. I sensed it was a prayer song, although I do not know to whom it was directed. The seemingly impromptu song lasted about 1 minute and then it was as over and normalized as a green shiny fly on cow dung. Except I and 13 other drivers were simultaneously wondering, "what were they singing?" Mine were undoubtedly singing something like, "Look-at-the-bald-headed-cod-ger, won-der-ing-what-we're-say-ing......ha-hah-ha-hah-hah."

And then I got to drive in circles around Oxford in the rain as 3 different Indian men instructed me in authoritative and very broken English to go to 3 different places to drop off my girls.