Eastward Ho!

March 5, 2009

Claimer:  All references to the East are predominantly biased by my experiences of India and Indians in general.

In the East.  Draw a pail of water and use it measuredly not just to bath but to brush, shave and wash clothes.
In the West.  A long, hot shower or soak.
West-meeting-East.  Please do not run water.  Please do not pre-rinse, just scrape dishes before loading in dish washer.  PLEASE CONSERVE WATER.
East-being-East-in-West.  Move to apartment with no water charge and run water.

In the East.  Boil and filter to drink tap water.
In the West.  Pay recycling fee and buy spring water in large cans or number of plastic bottles.  Lug empty cans and bottles to recyle.
West-meeting-East.  Please buy a filter.  PLEASE RECYCLE.
East-being-East-in-West.  Trash empty cans and bottles.
East-being-East-in-East. Wrinkle nose at home filtered water.  Buy unfiltered water, sealed in plastic bottles, labeled as mineral water.  To drink.  And to wash. 

In the East.  Turn on switch to power up electric socket.  Turn off switch to power off.
In the West.  Power always on.  Just plug in.  Do not bother to turn off lights.  Leave every gadget plugged in, emitting eerie noises and lights.
West-meeting-East.  Please buy power strips so gadgets can be turned off when not in use.  PLEASE CONSERVE ENERGY.

In the East.  Carry water bags, stainless steel utensils, hand towels and napkins on outdoor trips.  Wash.  Re-use.
In the West.  Plastic.  Paper. Disposables.  Use.  Recycle.
West-meeting-East.  Please forgo office supplied disposables and bring your own re-usable mugs.  Here is one free.  PLEASE RE-USE.
East-being-East-Everywhere.  Do not bother.  Choose convenience over environment.

In-the-East.  Old fashioned, earnest farming.
In-the-West.  Grow food with harmones, grow eating that food, let your harmones take the brunt.
West-meeting-East.  Go organic.
East-being-East-Everywhere.  Choose cheapest option.

In-the-East.  Speak native tongue at home.  English at school.  Local language outside.  National language in addition.  Multi-lingual over all.
In-the-West.  Speak English at home.  Continue English at school.  Perfect one language.
East-in-West.  Speak broken English at home.  Learn English at school.  Grow up not understanding what parents or relatives say.  Communication Gap Abyss.

In-the-East.  Born.  Raised.  Educated.  Eastern.
In-the-West.  Born.  Raised.  Educated.  On your own.
East-being-East-in-West.  Born.  Registered as Western Citizen.  Flaunted.  Raised.  Flaunted.  Educated.  Flaunted.  Arrange marriage.  Confused.
East-being-East-in-East.  Born.  Flaunted.  Raised.  Flaunted.  Educated.  Flaunted.  Sent abroad.  Flaunted.  Arrange marriage.  No return.  Love marriage.

Granted the east follows ancient ways, mostly.  Given that many of these are morally outdated, we tend to view even those that seem reasonable, in a questionable light.  But the things that we unlearned fast are the exact same things that the west is now hurrying to adapt.  Simply because whatever the modern west does, it seems to do with a sense of purpose and confidence, we are encouraged to embrace their ways, for better or for worse, with unfounded enthusiasm.  We did that before.  We are doing it now.  We find ourselves reclaiming habits that we should not have abandoned, in the first place, had common sense prevailed.  Yet, those that we should have dropped like hot potatoes, we cling on to, in the misguided belief of preserving culture. 

So, say it with me…  Backward, no no!  Eastward, right ho!