Dienstag, 1. Oktober 2013

Maximum City - Bombay lost and found

"Breathing the air in Bombay now is the equivalent of smoking two and a half packs of cigarettes a day. The sun used to set in the sea. Now it sets into the smog. [...]

If you're going to come to Bombay, come at the bottom. There's no room at the top. Every nice place has a right to charge a newcomer's tax, which goes from the new inhabitants to the old patient ones. A city has its secrets: where you go to shop for an ice bucket, for an office chair, for a sari. Newcomers have to pay more because they don't know these places. 

We haggle over minuscule amounts that have no value for us: 10 rupees is only 40 cents. If we lost 40 cents in New York we would never notice it; here it becomes a matter of principle. This is because along getting ripped off for 10 rupees comes an assumption: You are not from here, you are not Indian, so you deserve to be ripped off; to pay more than a native. So we raise our voices and demand to be charged the correct amount, the amount on the meter, because not to do so would imply acceptance of our foreign status."

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