Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Foreign living....

One of the great things about travel is to see how people live in different cultures. The 'westernization' of the world scares me because I think we're getting too close to a homogeneous culture and I haven't even experienced a lot of the differences yet before they disappear ( I like to call this the walmartification of the world!). A good friend of mine recently moved to India for work and is still adjusting to the differences which are stark even though she is in a very modern, Western city. Above is the view from her balcony - what a view!Although she has full electricity (of course) she says it goes out for hours a day which has taken some getting used to. She has all of the western appliances at home but has to plan their use around times when power is available. All of the outlets are high up on the wall near the light switches.
The place was rented furnished -lucky her, right? Check out this entertainment center, have you ever seen anything like it? CRAZY! Did they follow the instructions when they built it?
Above is the modern kitchen. I love how it all just plugs into the wall visibly! That looks like a scarily overloaded circuit though!
The master bath is very modern with this trendy sink (just don't drink the water!).I think this is the same toilet I have in my apartment! A bit odd that the shower doesn't have walls or even a curtain....in a humid environment it must be hard to keep it all dry! But how nice must a shower be after a long hot, humid day!
A major difference in the cultures are the upper/lower caste society where the 'white collar' workers have servants and drivers still (which she says is a blessing as the streets are crazy to drive!). Here in the US we have mostly gotten rid of having live-in servants as we let technology do the work. They have the technology (which works when the power is on) but still rely on the help. Above is the bathroom in the servant's quarters. Not as nice as the master bath.Because of the climate, the entire house has marble floors to help keep the rooms cool. Notice the water bottles in the corner -it makes me feel so lucky to be able to drink from the tap! The furniture is .......interesting. It's an Indian luxury apartment after all, you have to have some 'fancy' furniture! It's very western but I still love to see the minor differences as they reflect the culture. I hope you enjoyed the travelogue!

9 comments:

Style Redux 2 said...

Toto, I've a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore.

C.T. said...

Ooohhh MG, I recognize all of that very much. Stayed in India for 5 weeks in a big city as well, but dear lord...what an experience!! You know, those "floor-toilets" you will find here in Italy as well. I prefer to keep it all up than to hang above this thing.

I laughed about your Walmartification of the world, it's scary though.

ArchitectDesign said...

SR, haha - my sentiments exactly! It's odd that it LOOKS western...but then it's oh so not!

CT -5 weeks! Thats great! I'm a bit scared of the floor toilets myself LOL

Scott Fazzini said...

I'm madly in love! I want an open shower/bath in my place! I'd even bare the ridiculously cheeky "classic" furniture, with the obscenely obnoxious "modern" stuff. The view is killer, and she's in India!! Lucky girl!

custardbydesign said...

what an interesting post...

the all-in wet-room is a very common feature here in ireland these days - everybody wants one - although there is usually a glass screen or some form of divider between the shower and the toilet...

the floor toilets are very common on the continent - i've seen them in spain, france and italy...weird if you ask me - much easier for men too as usual...

my girlfriend is from america and so i'm constantly learning about the minor differences between ireland and the states when it comes to living ideals...i find it all very interesting...

ArchitectDesign said...

Custard, I would love to hear what more of those differences are! I always think of western europe to be so simliar to the US. I have seen those floor toilets too.

custardbydesign said...

ok - lets get our heads together over an email and come up with some of your questions! my girlfriend is constantly amazed at how so many of our houses here arent open plan in their design - even houses being built today - i guess its an element of traditionalism and the need fro warmth and comfort that factors into this... also the styling of houses, my girlfriend is constantly amazed at the height so many people hanag pictures and artwork in their houses too!

Things That Inspire said...

Fascinating post! I must say, I would HATE the bathroom in that apartment. I like the toilet to be enclosed in its own room - I don't even like for it to be in the same room as the sink and shower, much less right next to the shower with no division at all!

ArchitectDesign said...

Custard, I was just at an interesting lecture last night by Stephen Drucker (editor of house beautiful magazine) who was talking about how it is distinctly American ( and odd!) that we have this concept of wide open interior spaces and 'cleanliness' being associated with them.
TTI, I have to agree with you. I'm not very open minded when it comes to bathrooms LOL - and I like a private WC like you mention!