Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Life on the road

People can be very friendly when you're on the road.

Locals, other tourists, expats: I've received kindness, help and company from all of them on this trip.

I've also met a few that I wanted smack.

I had breakfast this morning with a European woman who spent the entire time bemoaning expats: how awful it is when foreigners move into the area and ruin it for everyone, changing the essential character with their foreign ways and their foreign cash. She complained bitterly and at length about how the South of France had been ruined by all the English buying second homes down there, driving up property prices and polluting the place with their presence. I sat quietly and tried to keep my tongue still as I ate my roti canai and drank my coffee.

Cause here's the thing: she lives on an Ashram.

She's lived there for years. A bunch of Westerners living in India seeking "enlightenment" and spirituality.... and a life of absolute leisure paying locals to do everything for them.

I asked her if she worked at the Ashram, if she helped run the place, did her share of the cooking, cleaning and gardening shifts. Nope. She paid "other people" to do that.

Yep. It's awful when foreigners move into the area with their foreign ways and foreign cash.

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