Thursday, September 15, 2011

Rotten Food and Dirty Water - My 8 Month Update

So I've been angry this month. And my #1 song when I'm pissed off is Limp Bizkit's "Break Stuff." I think that about sums up how I feel about India right now. Let me quote the part of the lyrics that apply to how I've felt this past month (for those of you not familiar with this song).

Its just one of those days
When you don't wanna wake up
Everything is fucked
Everybody sux
You don't really know why
But you want justify
Rippin' someone's head off
No human contact
And if you interact
Your life is on contract
Your best bet is to stay away m*th*r f*ck*r
It's just one of those days!!

In truth, I guess it was one of those months. My ability to put up with the things going on around me is gone. There's nothing left. There are two main reasons for this.

1. I'm tired of being sick and in pain.
2. I'm finding out way too much (that's what this post is about).

My right leg and hip are bothering me too much these days. I've briefly mentioned before being in a serious relationship but I never really said much in this blog. However, it was an abusive relationship and my right leg took a lot of abuse. Now, before this was mild discomfort occasionally which rarely even needed a Tylenol (Paracetamol or Crocin for those of you more familiar with Indian meds). It didn't affect my ability to walk or move around. I also have bad knees for the same reason. I worked for two years to strengthen them back up so that my legs didn't go out from under me while I was walking. I exercise here including walking, leg lifts and several other exercises so I don't lose that strength and it is helping. But, sitting in this bed all day is counteracting most of that and I just freaking hurt. I really don't want to be a pill popper all the time so I deal with it most days but I've had more days this month that it was unbearable and I went through an entire package of Zerodol (the equivalent of Advil for my US peeps).
I still feel a cannon ball sized hole in my side where my liver is still enlarged and that is driving me nuts as well. It makes it difficult to get comfy when I lay on my side to break up the monotony of being in this bed all day. (I do get up, go cook, sit on the terrace, etc. but those seating arrangements are worse than my bed.) I'm also having some cysts and those are no fun. I'm having sinus issues from the weather changing and other things like headaches and all that goes with being miserable in general. 

But now I'm really pissed off. Let me explain first how I'm not an idiot for letting this happen. In the US food is strictly regulated by the government. This doesn't mean you won't find the occasional bad piece on the store shelves but when you do it's usually really nasty and you know it right away. Now the entire time I've been here in India I have noticed many times that some of the food tastes really bad, It's very random too because someone in the house will bring home fresh veggies and 1 out of 20 pieces will taste this way. I don't know how to describe it but I've tried to to explain it to hubby and he didn't get it. 

Well, we bought a bag of pistachios a few days ago and he decided to have some with me. They had that flavor. He immediately tells me they taste old. I checked the date and it indicated they should still be good. I tasted them and realized what the flavor was and used it as an example to explain to him what I had been trying to say about the veggies in the house so many times. I had never tasted this in my life and figured all this time it was something about the dirt they were raised in. (And just FYI I threw out almost all of them I encountered but usually after tasting. Some of them there was no way to throw out, otherwise I would have gone hungry and I just suffered through the meal.) 

But that just pisses me off. It's no f*ck*ng wonder I've gotten so sick so often if I was eating rotten/old food and no one bothered to tell me. No, I don't automatically know these things because, as I mentioned, in the US nothing ever tastes this way and our food industry is regulated so we're not sold old nasty veggies by some guy on the street. And here, this has been a repeated process. I have gotten these often. So much so I no longer even eat cucumbers. 

A week ago I went down to take a bath. Now, many times I've went down and someone else's soapy water was still in there. Almost every day I have to clean the shower before I use it because it's dirty and there are tea grounds in there from MIL and Chachi doing the dishes. (I don't get that at all, do the dishes then the laundry on a dirty floor because there's oil and chai grounds there.) I often clean off the mold that has grown down there because I don't want it to grow and kill me. But I'm getting off track. Back to a week ago. I went down to take a shower, I had to make sure I beat everyone down because here it's almost a competition to get down there and get the fresh water before it's gone again (they turn off the water twice a day). 

I cleaned up the shower as usual and got my stuff ready and turned on the water. Eager to start because it had been a hot night I filled up the little bucket and started pouring water over my head. Then after I had cooled down some I decided to brush my teeth and the big bucket was starting to fill up. I started brushing my teeth and when I was done and needed to rinse I looked at the water in the big bucket and got sick to my stomach. It was dark brown. And I knew I had already used some of it on my body and on my toothbrush. I was disgusted to say the least. I put the little bucket under the tap and filled it up. That water too was brown. 

Now here I am stuck in the shower, wet and with a mouth full of toothpaste and no clean water. (I've smelled a nauseating smell to the water more than once but never the fresh water.) I put my stuff up off the floor and dumped the big bucket. I let the water run a minute and then filled the little bucket again. Thank God it was almost completely clear this time. I immediately started rinsing myself again praying to get the brown water off of me and hoping that the bacteria or whatever was in it wouldn't make me sick again. 

Eventually the water did run clear and I was able to finish my shower. Which I made quick because I had no desire to be in there anymore. I swear ppl in this country need to stop worrying about how much gold their daughter leaves the house with and do something about the conditions the government allows them to suffer under. It's absolutely ridiculous that people are purchasing rotten food on a regular basis and have dirty water piped into their homes. All those corrupt government officials should be ashamed of themselves. Everyone deserves better than that. And those daughters gold won't matter if she drinks nasty water that kills her or causes harm to her children. 

I think that sums up the big stuff. Other minor annoyances are a part of life and I've been able to not let those get to me too much more than normal. I'm not getting started on some of my other grievances because this blog post is long enough already.


  1. hey hope you recover soon and I completely can understand what you said about the government and girls who are like little mobile jewellery shops after marriage... phew hope its off your chest now :) :) :).. take care :)

  2. :( I feel sad after reading this post...there has been lot going on in the blogosphere and now knowing you are having tough time. I feel really bad. I can not handle when people leave the bathroom not-clean. My mum's side we are quite good with the hygiene standards and hence I am ill-known for how I am always cleaning the house, but when I visit my MIL doesn't care much!! I do not live with them so I am not bothered as they have maintained the house the way like to. But this case sounds pretty bad and people do not care about hygiene in India :| 

    Hugs and lots of love & warmth if that helps....


  3. by the way it's me Chintan from The Blunt Blog. This is my twitter account.

  4. Easy with the limp bisqueak therapy. Don't let the municipality ruin your health. You need some non-virtual(outdoor) hobbies.

  5. Join some hobby classes. Maybe dance (indian/western), or yoga classes or cooking or even computers.

    And yes its true, we do get brown muddy water sometimes in Delhi as well and we do get rotten vegetables and we do bicker about it and then go on with life. If we keep getting worried about these basic things then life would become hell. This is the reason water purifiers sell so much in india and in Delhi almost all houses have water motors which pump out water whenever you needed with the click of a button.

    I havent seen anybody get killed because they ate rotten apple or cucumber. What we do is stop eating cucumber/vegetables or uncooked food during monsoons.

    A suggestion, how about you buy yourself a steamer (2k/-) and you can then steam ur veggies/corns/meat etc and eat it. Much healthier.

    Buy a simple water purifier (2k/-) or RO purifier (if water is hard, 8k/-) for drinking.

    While bathing best option will be to wait till the dirty water gives way.

    Complaining wont you get anywhere in india, nobody bothers, nobody cares. We just get on with life. Its more fun that way :P

    Watch that movie (Chalo Dilli). You just got to do it :)
    I hope your blues go away soon.
    Keep the chin up.

  6. Yeah, some of it is. I do a lot off blog writing that helps me get a lot of things off my chest. I just have no one to talk to that understands so it's rough.

  7. Don't feel bad. I'm just like you, I like my house sanitary. I've gotten over the fingerprints on the walls that must be painted over after bleach didn't take them off lol. But some other things I just can't deal with. Especially knowing I get so sick all the time and these things are not helping. I routinely clean the mold out of the shower stall because I don't want that to jump up and kill me but I can't scrub the other areas of the house. I'm not supposed to be cleaning and I think MIL would have a fit if she caught me. They don't want me to lift a finger.

    I'm not sure that hygiene doesn't matter as much as India having not been taught so much about it as the western world. In the US we are bombarded in commercials and TV shows with information about how dirty the world is and how these tiny bugs we can't see can kill us, etc. Here you never see that. They don't get the information about black mold and why hand washing is so important. Then they don't realize what is making them sick or get sores on their bodies. But you're right about one thing, no one cares about that stuff here.

  8. Lol, that's just about the only Limp Bizkit song I listen to and it is rare. I don't like stuff that heavy but for some reason that song gets all the anger off my mind. It's like my quick fix lol and it's less addictive than drugs. If I'm not angry, I can't listen to that song it gets on my nerves. Go figure!

  9. I would love to join hobby classes but it's been forbidden. I've tried to get hubby to go to something with me, it never happens and he says we can't do it because we don't have time.

    I would just bicker and go on with life after the veggies but I'm not allowed out of the house by myself to get food when I need it. I have to rely on someone bringing the food in. So when there is no food available in the house except rotten food then I go hungry. Sometimes it takes days before they bring in fresh food, even if I ask them for it repeatedly (thanks to Indian Standard Timing no doubt). I've learned to keep my own supply hidden in my room but even that dwindles quickly and often. I'm sort of a germaphobe sometimes and once I see maggots crawling all over food I mentally can't force myself to eat it until the entire area has been dumped, cleaned and the food replaced. That part is my fault but even after bickering, no one would eat bug infested food I'm sure. Another big issue is that all that is ever in the house for me to eat is tomatoes, cucumbers and potatoes. So without those three I do starve and with them I don't get the vitamins and minerals I need and they get so boring. I go out and buy other things but they don't last long enough between grocery trips.

    Water goes out several times a day here and is only on during certain hours. I'm not sure if it's the same in Delhi or not. But it's just not available all the time, pump or not. We got a water purifier. No one ever installed it and it's still in the box where it's been for 4-5 months.

    I have found that complaining works sometimes. Especially if there is crying involved. But to be honest I'm not that fake so I can't do that often unless it's real. Not to mention I feel like it's complete BS that I would have to do that over something so simple as food but it's getting to that point. I'm pretty sure I've reached my limit. If they are going to restrict my freedoms (and I don't have the capability of going against them yet due to language barriers) then it's their responsibility to get me the supplies I need.

    I can't wait to watch the movie. I just have to find it first. It's new so I haven't found a subtitled version yet. I will keep looking. Thanks again!

  10. It's just too much to cope with.  :-(

    This line is special though, it really appealed to me: "I swear ppl in this country need to stop worrying about how much gold
    their daughter leaves the house with and do something about the
    conditions the government allows them to suffer under".

  11. In Delhi too the water comes only twice each day. But the pump works, when you are off timings. 

    Have  you tried taking supplements ?? I forgot the name of the one I used. I will let you know later. Try some. What about steamer.. can you get that ??

    The vegetable vendor normally comes to the houses and sell .. how about the next time you notice him pushing his cart, you go right down and purchase some.

    Why the restriction in joining classes ??
    Cant your MIL or SIL/niece go with you to the class. Wait till the class is over and then come back with you. 

    Amritsar is a sweet lil town. It couldn't be that bad !!!

    Have you tried some ayurvedic medicines ??
    Is their any Ramdev ashram in your neighborhood ??

    Art of living will be nice too.. if you can enroll .. . !!

  12. Its strange actually, coz I remember my mom specifically telling my sis to not wear any jewellery while going to work and only wear them on special occasions. 

    She wear fakes :P

  13. wow,you ARE having a rubbish time. Its all a bit mysterious to me,as we have our own farm which gives very frsh produce,very clean water a generator for when the electricity goes and, well generally just a very nice life, i would struggle very much if i had to live like you have done,and its harder for you coz you're not indian. hope you get to feeling more upbeat soon

  14. Yeah. When I wrote that I just kept thinking how Chachi always tries to make sure her kids are so healthy and they take all these supplements but niece is always getting sick or boils on her body. And niece is the cleanest one in the house. She's looks up to me and washes her hands all the time like I do and is picky about her food. (I didn't mean to warp her lol.) But then she has to go to school and such and there's no real health regulations to keep her safe there as well. It's not that people don't try, it's just that the system isn't designed to help them.

  15. I do have a steamer. I forgot to mention that last comment. I'm not allowed to join classes and such outside of the house and there is no one to go with me. I've asked before when I needed Punjabi lessons and it caused a big fight between me and hubby. He's the butthead over this, not his parents. Everything he says I can't do, they just love the idea of lol. I just have to kick his butt sometimes to get it done and it back fired over Punjabi lessons. He found someone to come to my home and that turned out to be a huge disaster. Hubby thinks we don't have time (because he thinks he's the only one who can go with me) but we go out 3-4 times a week so I'm sure we do. I don't know why he's being so stubborn.

    The subzi wala here comes to the street corner. The men of the house go down and buy the veggies. But he doesn't really carry much of anything. FIL usually picks up fresh veggies on his way home from work once a week from a better vendor who has fresher veggies. I make up the difference by purchasing as much of my own food as I can on trips to the mall.

    I take Liv-52, Triphala, and Ashvaganda currently. Those do help.

    I don't mind Amritsar. I just have my moments where I get fed up with everything. Most days I can even get past the dirt (especially if I'm going out somewhere) and I enjoy getting out and seeing ppl and life. I don't even mind India and I've been through some parts that ripped my heart out, especially along the back roads of Agra. Some of those images I will never get out of my mind but I'm thankful I experienced it. I'm really just tired of being sick and in pain all the time. I need a break from it or a better way to take care of myself because what I'm dealing with here is not working.