City Paper is not for tourists
A shame, really, that the Post couldn’t get through the publicist to the author of the blog Stuff White People Like. But who really needs white people? In D.C., a multicultural city of the aughts if ever there was one, we’ve got the newly minted author of Desis 101, or What Desis Love, Hate, and Love to Hate. (To help out the white people, Desis are Indian-subcontinent people.)
Alka Kothari started the blog—which now includes entries on why Desi women store things between their breasts and why the Desis are “Loving to Be Using the Funny Grammar”—after reading Stuff White People Like. Sure, sure, there’s that whole immitation=flattery thing going on. But Kothari, 34, who is Desi, who grew up in the Chicago ‘burbs, and who now lives kind of in Shaw, off U Street, and not inconceivably in Logan Circle, takes a more anthropoligical approach. And it’s still funny. And educational:
When sitting down to a meal with Desis, one will often be asked earnestly and directly about the cut, color and clarity of one’s last bowel movement. Such questions are particularly common at the breakfast table as a means of gauging the dietary dos and don’ts for the coming day. After an initial assessment, a variety of pastes, spice mixtures, potions and pungent treats will be brought out in a special tin devoted to poop-regulation.
“I really want white people to read it,” says Kothari, who says she does bargain “crazy hard” like other Desis, but does not necessarily pull platters of fruit from her cleavage. “I’d love it if people here became more interested in India as a result….because there is this idea that Indians are going to take over. I mean there are a billion of ’em, so it’s probably time the U.S. started learning a little more of the nuance.” And also, it’s way better than Stuff Asian People Like.