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Old 03-13-2011, 10:29 PM
 
43 posts, read 52,852 times
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That is true of anyone who cooks pungent food, not just Indians. Kannadigas, known for their tolerance, sure had to deal with a lot in that direction from foreigners in their land?

 
Old 03-14-2011, 03:27 PM
 
19 posts, read 49,391 times
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b2f10,

Are you sure you are not discriminated because of your credit profile rather than ethnicity. Just a guess, based on your recent arrival to US your husband shouldn't have much credit history built up.

Cheers
 
Old 03-14-2011, 04:30 PM
 
43 posts, read 52,852 times
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We obviously didn't have any credit history at all at that point of time. It is a different deal now of course - our contribution to recycling has gone up due to all the repeated mailed offers of credit cards/bank accounts. Money reference by Antlered Chamataka comes true

As a newcomer, we were told by our agent that we would need to pay an extra month's deposit. Apart from that, the landlady demanded a letter from the employer. The company (one of the oldest in the country) gave the letter of reference.

As much as I would like to give the landlady the benefit of the doubt, I am afraid there are no grounds in this case. Our agent and reportedly even the landlady's agent thought that she wasn't being reasonable.

The landlords of other houses we had shortlisted (5), but didn't pick, had no issues, except one. The agent told us that the landlord changed his mind about renting it out and decided to sell the house and hence was off the market for us.

In the case of the house we live in now - there were no problems right from the time we came to see it, to signing the agreement to moving in and till now. Don't you think all these other landlords must've given a thought to our lack of credit history and even decided to consider letting out to us only on the strength of the employer's reference letter
 
Old 03-19-2011, 08:37 AM
 
Location: Wherever women are
19,022 posts, read 24,834,583 times
Reputation: 11309
Quote:
Originally Posted by b2f10 View Post
We obviously didn't have any credit history at all at that point of time. It is a different deal now of course - our contribution to recycling has gone up due to all the repeated mailed offers of credit cards/bank accounts. Money reference by Antlered Chamataka comes true

As a newcomer, we were told by our agent that we would need to pay an extra month's deposit. Apart from that, the landlady demanded a letter from the employer. The company (one of the oldest in the country) gave the letter of reference.

As much as I would like to give the landlady the benefit of the doubt, I am afraid there are no grounds in this case. Our agent and reportedly even the landlady's agent thought that she wasn't being reasonable.

The landlords of other houses we had shortlisted (5), but didn't pick, had no issues, except one. The agent told us that the landlord changed his mind about renting it out and decided to sell the house and hence was off the market for us.

In the case of the house we live in now - there were no problems right from the time we came to see it, to signing the agreement to moving in and till now. Don't you think all these other landlords must've given a thought to our lack of credit history and even decided to consider letting out to us only on the strength of the employer's reference letter
Credit score is not a big deal. The moment Indians show their paystubs, landlords take a bow and ask them when they are moving in

And that's why they take an extra month's rent as security, anyway.
 
Old 03-19-2011, 09:53 AM
 
Location: Wherever women are
19,022 posts, read 24,834,583 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kannadiga View Post
I hate it when some Indians carry the smell of curry to workplace. If only they would not cook wearing the same clothes they wear to work. During winters, the jackets we wear carry all the kitchen smell. I always make it a point never to keep my coat near the kitchen. We cook very strong ethnic food at our home and certainly I don't want my co-workers to guess what I had for dinner the previous night.
I think we can put this smell thing to rest now.

I've read some online armchair dermatologists run their mouths about how Indians have these pores on their skins which ooze stuff that smell like curry. By that logic, the Italians must be oozing mozza cheese or the mexicans must be excreting chile con queso

This is like pollination. The powders we use are not really well contained, they tend to escape into that atmosphere around and they easily get sucked into clothes and overcoats. And these little particles are so strong in scent. It's basic organic chemistry. I remember how these powders are made - intense amount of spices. I remember I had to put one of my favourite white polos to rest coz mommy brought kesari powder from India and accidentally dropped it on it.

A simple fix would be to get stuff from Target or walmart, you have these scent absorbing crystals, electric room freshners that keep spraying stuff. In all, 100 bucks of investment. And it's not like our boys don't want to do it, they don't realize that they carry this smell around, unless told. And we all know how PC this country is - nobody tells anything, they carry one face on to you and speak crap behind your back.

Back home, when someone stinks, people tell them right on to your face. The same thing goes with fat people or ugly people, fat guys get told on their face, I kid you not, let me translate the literal Tamil verse of what I got told when I was briefly fat in my youth - "why are you getting inflated like a pig, make sure you don't burst into meat pieces". That kind of direct honesty does not exist here. So, naturally our guys never realize they stink

I remember this incident on the Madras bus where a lady asked a guy to sit on another seat becoz he "stank" and she smothered her nose with her palm. Unfortunately, nobody is that honest in America. They put up with it and act nice LOL.
 
Old 03-19-2011, 09:22 PM
 
142 posts, read 220,862 times
Reputation: 50
Hi,

I have no idea WHAT I was searching for that led to stumbling upon this fascinating discussion.

As a brown-skinned, Pai-reading, curry-cooking person about to move to CT, it is my moral obligation to chip in. Kitchens (and houses) smell not because of what we cook, but how we cook it. Most of the aroma of food/spices is carried in grease particles. If you cook with strong spices, on high heat and in an open wok, you will spread the love around. Which is fine when we're living in brick houses with windows that are open 24x7 and industrial-strength exhaust fans, but not in the closed-ventilation carpeted-draped American houses.

I cook a lot. I run the exhaust fan BEFORE I start cooking. I open the windows. I use little oil and keep my pans covered. Granted, I don't cook Indian food that often, but we've had zero problem with smell issues. The apartment hallway, meanwhile, occasionally smells like beef. It also sometimes smells like Indian cooking (from the other Indian neighbor), which always disappoints my neighbor who comes over hoping for curry. ;D

Room fresheners/scents are useless- they just cover up existing smells with newer ones. The charcoal/baking soda/absorbent stuff works, though. So does boiling cider vinegar on the stove after a particularly long bout of cooking.

Now that that's off my chest, I'm glad things worked out for you, b2f10. I lived in what may be called the most segregated states in the US (MS, WV) and the people were nothing but incredibly nice and friendly once they got to know you. It was no worse (nay, it was a whole lot better) than a North Indian moving to the South (or vice versa) and trying to establish a life.
 
Old 03-20-2011, 06:23 AM
 
5,065 posts, read 13,353,110 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Antlered Chamataka View Post

Back home, in India, our folks cook such stuff in the open air, back in our garden and the immense heat of the sun smokes this scent away in a matter of minutes, they blend well with the scent radiating from the trees and plants. Unfortunately, here in America, the residential areas are not built for outdoor cooking neither hardcore indoor cooking.



Quote:
Originally Posted by purplesque View Post
If you cook with strong spices, on high heat and in an open wok, you will spread the love around. Which is fine when we're living in brick houses with windows that are open 24x7 and industrial-strength exhaust fans, but not in the closed-ventilation carpeted-draped American houses.
I keep seeing posts referring to spice smells in "American" homes on this thread. Previously I stated we once lived next door to an Indian family, and there was frequently the smell of curry in the air that would get into our house---we actually lived in England, not the U.S., had hardwood floors like many also do in the U.S., etc. So it's not an issue specific to the U.S. Just curious, what are kitchens like in India? Do you typically have "industrial-strength exhaust fans"? Surely not everyone cooks outside, and don't you have nearby neighbors in your cities?
 
Old 03-20-2011, 07:16 AM
 
142 posts, read 220,862 times
Reputation: 50
andthentherewerethree,

There are all kinds of kitchens in India. The houses where I grew up all had huge open kitchens with very large windows and yes, an industrial strength exhaust fan. Of course, the fan throws the air outside the house, but there was a garden with trees right outside the window, and I was never able to smell the cooking outside. In fact, I never smelled food at all unless I entered the house at the time it was being cooked.

Its more than hardwood floors. Most houses in US (and I suspect in UK) have a closed ventilation system and the windows aren't used often. That, more than anything, is what causes the air to marinate. Even if there isn't carpet, there is still more drapery than you would find in India. (This, in part, also explains why people get more allergies here compared to India. No, I don't have data. Its just my theory. lol)

If you're living right next to a house where people are cooking curry, you will smell it at the time of cooking. But it shouldn't linger.

I'm not blaming the 'curry-smell' on the houses; its just a combination of the different set-up and people not knowing how to deal with it. I've lived in three different houses/apartments in the US. Quite a few people have asked me, some jokingly, 'but why doesn't your house smell of curry?!'
 
Old 03-20-2011, 07:29 AM
 
5,065 posts, read 13,353,110 times
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It might depend on where you live in the U.S. We usually have our windows open in the warmer months here in Ct. I even had some of our windows open the past week. I don't like AC, and we only use when the temps are over 85, and even then I have the windows open in the mornings during heatwaves. I know a lot of people here in Ct. that don't have AC at all, I don't know how they sleep at night during humid heatwaves! And in England AC is almost a rarity, it wasn't very common, windows are wide open there for months at a time. Which was often a problem, in a couple of houses we lived in we didn't even have screens and we'd get bees etc. flying in the house. But yes, I have family in more southern, hotter states, that keep their windows closed far more than we do.
 
Old 03-20-2011, 09:01 AM
 
142 posts, read 220,862 times
Reputation: 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by andthentherewere3 View Post
It might depend on where you live in the U.S. We usually have our windows open in the warmer months here in Ct. I even had some of our windows open the past week. I don't like AC, and we only use when the temps are over 85, and even then I have the windows open in the mornings during heatwaves.
I deem you, then, officially qualified to cook curry without any long lasting aromatic side effects!
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