Posted by: janpierce | February 9, 2009

The Great Ear Wax Scam and Other Mysteries

One day while walking across a street in Hyderabad a young man walked up to Roger. He began to look intently into his right ear as we were walking and suddenly took out a little metal gizmo and began to put it into Roger’s ear talking all the while. Then he pulled it out and began wiping huge globs of brown paint-like looking stuff onto the back of his hand, still talking like crazy. He went for the ear a second time and I was hollering to Roger to make him stop. More big globs of brown gunk appeared on the boy’s hand. Then he held out a small business card which we couldn’t read, but inferred that he was selling some sort of ear cleaning service since Roger needed it so badly. All of this took only a few seconds, but it was a unique experience to say the least. We have asked around and no one has ever heard of this particular scam. Guess we attract the most entreprenurial sorts.

We have learned that no menu in south India is to be trusted. There are lists and lists of menu items to choose from, but interestingly there are usually only a handful of items actually in existence. It reminds me of the old I Love Lucy episode when they were traveling from New York to California. They stopped in a little podunk restaurant and found that there was actually only one item on the menu. Anyway, we are enjoying the food. I find that I like nearly everything which is a problem for the old waistline. The inches don’t show in my roomy salwar kameez, but I will need to go into seclusion for a month after returning home.

Day before yesterday I learned about Indian Torture first hand. We rode from Anantapur to Hyderabad on the day bus and left at 8:30 a.m. We staggered off the bus at 6:00 p.m. It was the worst day I’ve ever had in India. The ride was hot and bumpy. It was made immeasurably worse by three full length Telugu movies which were all about the various mafia groups attacking one another with a sort of good guy coming to the rescue at the end. Well, actually all three times we arrived at a certain bus station and after several hours of shoot-em up action they cut the end off. What I love is the fact that most of the movie is blood and gore except when the hero and his love interest wander off into flowery fields and do the exotic dance routines with twenty of their best friends. Then back to the blasting away. The music and sound was very scratchy and LOUD. I will be sending this information on to any government officials who want to learn relatively humane interrogation methods.



  1. The bus movie story made me laugh. I miss you, Jan!


  2. Hey, this happened to me in Anjuna Beach, Goa! Just like you described, huge gobs of wax, and I was handed a little card that was hard to read, but after 15 seconds I realised there were exorbitant prices on the card that he was expecting me to pay! So I ran away! The only difference was that this man was also pulling out tiny little rocks from my ear! totally bizzare 🙂

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