Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Diana vs. Technology (a losing battle)

Some stats on daily tech:

my local cell phone works about 25% of the time. That means anyone who calls me has a 1 in 4 chance of actually reaching me at any given time. Anyone who texts me has more like a 1 in 8 chance of actually reaching me. Disclaimer: This is a brand new cell phone. And when I explained how I purchased it etc. to a local student, I was informed that I got a "good deal. They didnt rip [me] off at all."

This has resulted in very awkward conversations where another student thought I was ignoring her and basically telling her to go away (not the case). A friend needing to facebook message me and make sure that I was alive. Another friend emailing me to ask why I hadnt responded about our plans... and me making all of my phone calls through skype. Which means a weird number appears on the other person's cell phone and often they wont pick up.

The only calls that come through every day around the same time, are my Hindi advertisements. See, my cell phone number was sold in a package from Vodafone (my service) to a marketing team who then gets to spam call and text me whenever they want to to try and fail at selling me bollywood tickets/face bleach (yup, it's a thing. Getting there), a vacation... whatever. Usually I dont know because its in Hindi but sometimes there is random English thrown in to let me know what the deal is.

My supposedly unlimited go anywhere internet service... well I apparently "used up" my downloading amount for the month... and I'm just sending emails/blogging. So... that's kinda weird. I'm not even video skyping for fear of my internet collapsing and taking me with it... so unlimited secretly means 2 GB. In case you were wondering (I just checked my internet stats, thats how I figure that out)

Most of the taxis here are from the 1950s. I kid you not, one of my shoes (the AWESOME plastic flats women wear during the monsoon) melted a little bit from the floor of the car heating up to roughly the temperature of the inside of a volcano today when I was taking a taxi back from my breakfast meeting with the head organizer for INK India (it's like TED and stemmed off of TEDIndia). But it's ok... they are still easily the most comfortable shoes I have ever owned.

Another bizarre technology/something generally uncomfortable:

There is a product here called... I kid you not... vaginal whitening cream.

Yes. Let that sink in for a moment.

So. Where to begin with this product.

First of all, if you really want to bleach your pubic hair thats your choice. I just dont want to know. The ad for this product was one of the weirder and more uncomfortable things I have ever seen. Complete with sexual innuendo, weird racial under tones, and commentary about gender that made everyone laugh uncomfortably.

Scene: really really albino looking woman (meaning, she looks like she glows in the dark like I do) sits at the breakfast table with her lover who ignores her and reads the paper. She looks depressed. Then a weird cartoon of a tan woman's crotch with a dark cloud over it appears, this product is dumped on the cloud, then there is a weird waxing like motion and everything stops looking brown and the whole lower body image is white and "pure" and supposedly bleached. The skin tone is also completely white  now. Image goes back to the couple where the woman doesnt look depressed and is still super white, her lover is chasing her around the room because she took his car keys and DROPS THEM INTO THE FRONT OF HER SHORTS before he picks her up and carries her out of the shot.

(good news, just found the ad on youtube: Here)

I'll let you make what you will of this ad. I'm sure we all have a lot to process there.

So. in essence, I've learned a few things.

1) I have broken my addiction to my cell phone. I hereby promise I will never text/email at the table again. My phone will always be hidden in my bag and I will ignore it until we are done having a conversation.
2) Internet is precious. Very precious. It's weird when it's not there and I want to google something random like the life span of giant sea turtles... and yes this happened today.
3) I dont think I have processed the ad enough to react to it. I still sit here with a look of... wait... how was that not a joke?? on my face. Soo... fail.

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