As of yesterday (Friday) 4:00 p.m., a ban on alcohol has been in effect through the upcoming elections which will take place on Sunday, cinco de Mayo! That's right, no alcohol can be bought or served anywhere until AFTER elections so I had to stock up on Coronas and vino and more Coronas for the upcoming weekend yesterday before the 4pm deadline, no worries though, I was able to purchase enough of everything:). Get through an election weekend with no alcohol? Not in this house. Wasn't joking when I said no alcohol could be served anywhere...that includes restaurant, hotels, pubs, clubs, any establishment that could normally sell alcohol cannot do so until the voting is over. The elections. Wish I could tell you more about them. I know that there is a party with the picture of the outfacing palm of the hand (see pic to the left) and our drivers affiliation is the one with the lotus flower, which is actually the government that is currently in place. I don't know how many parties they are choosing from, or what they stand for. I have asked my driver what his party hopes or promises to accomplish (as he seems very passionate about his choice) but he just looked at me blankly and told me "it is good madam"! There are bribes galore going around right now. We have been told that party representatives are going to individual residences and offering cash, 1000 INR per vote. For a family of 10 that is alot of money and each person will get the cash if they sign a paper saying they will vote for that candidate. Election time is a "very happy time" for these people.
Me: So. John, wuuuuut? I kind of missed that whole conversation, can you shed some light on what you shared with him regarding US politics and what he shared with you over the current election excitement?
John: Lokesh was asking me how politicians bribe for votes in the US and I was explaining the current system of campaign finance where individuals/corporations donate to politicians in hopes of obtaining influence in policy making, a key difference.
Poor Lokesh, I know he was trying to understand what John was saying, but it's just a completely different world and campaign finance was just something he absolutely could not comprehend. He's not the only one:), yours truly still struggles with that one.
Lokesh was telling us how the police will go and arrest those trying to hand out bribes, but then take a bribe themselves and things go on as such. He seemed to be siding with the "bribers" and thought it was bad of the police to do that. We asked if any of the parties DID NOT offer bribes and his response was that "the good party has to offer bribe as the bad parties are doing it already". John reminded him that If police go around and arrest the campaigners for bribing voters, then you know it is not right, but that is the system they have here in India, and so long as things function this way, India will never be able to advance itself as a country.
Anyway, it's an interesting weekend. Last year on Cinco de Mayo, "Habaneros" at the time, the only Mexican restaurant around did not have any tequila for margaritas etc. This year, even if they did they cannot serve.
Somehow, I think we'll find a way to celebrate the weekend.
Have a great one everyone, see ya next time!