Lessons from the Madras Club – Lesson 4: There is no such thing as privacy

Lessons from the Madras Club – Lesson 4: There is no such thing as privacy
High density living and no room for privacy

Privacy does not exist in India unless an extreme amount of money changes hands, and even then, you might be lucky. In Lesson 3 we discussed the collectivist nature of Indian culture, how your life is not your own, and the nation’s insatiable penchant for gossip. If you layer the high density population over those complete lack of personal boundaries, you start to see how there could be a nation where there is no chance of personal privacy ever.

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Learning from a chronic, ‘incurable’ condition

Learning from a chronic, ‘incurable’ condition
Living with chronic pain and disease is tough

Sometimes life has a way of teaching us lessons we didn’t know we needed to be taught. There are a lot of ways it can do this: through our relationships with friends and family, through natural and unnatural disasters, and through our pursuit of professional fulfilment… For me, some of my biggest lessons have come from my body, which has sent me the gift of a chronic, ‘incurable’ condition to battle for well over half of my life.

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Bali bike-smash bonanza!

Bali bike-smash bonanza!
A taste of my face injuries a few days after the smash

But it was when I glanced over to the mirror on the wall to my right, I saw where the real damage was.  There was a huge, deep hole in my right elbow. “Hmmmmmmmmm, a bandaid is not going to fix that,” I thought.

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Whatever you do, don’t go to the doctor

Whatever you do, don’t go to the doctor
Photo by Ian Valerio on Unsplash

“I thought Japan was supposed to be a developed country,” he said with a look of pure horror on his face. “I’m from a third world country and our conditions are better than this!” (Of course Spain is not a third world country, but Diego was prone to dramatization back then). We surveyed the situation as our translator gestured for us to come to the front counter. We then looked at each other and, in that moment, decided to roll the dice.

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