The personalities make this show a winner -- a surprisingly witty and charming American computer programmer and a Bangalorian family who deals with the demands of capitalism and their cultural traditions. American companies send their programming tasks to the silicon valley of India to the chagrin of Americans who one day are making a good living and the next looking for work. It happened to our programmer host. Now he's going to India to see the people who replaced him.
Before he leaves he has dinner with his family to talk about outsourcing. His dad is pragmatic, saying that without cost cutting American companies can't compete. Our programmer's mom says it's all about the Almighty Dollar. Their opinions reflect the planks of major American political parties.
Bangalore is a technological boom town complete with shiny new buildings and horrendous traffic. The contrast between the city where our programmer lives and Bangalore couldn't be more profound. Our traveler discovers that Indians are enthralled with telemarketing and are learning how to speak "American" and follow a sales script. They work for a fraction of what our programmer made back in the USA. In the USA, telemarketing is a scourge. Our guy takes on a job hawking a credit card program. Turns out he works at night to reach other time zones thousands of miles away. Indian culture is to keep a family intact, so inlaws wives and brothers live in the same home. The home, like the city's environment is a sight to see. A hornet's nest is in the upstairs shower. Rats run around chased by the family dog. The dog wins and gets a fast meal. Outside, "sacred" cows roam the streets. Garbage pickup is not in the cards. And, during our guy's visit there's a riot because of the death of a famous actor who supported the poor. The word is a conspiracy did him in, so they break windows and burn cars. Much like New Yorker's, the locals take all this in with a shoulder shrug.
America's poor are rich by the Indian poor. They live in squalor. Children roam the neighborhoods in tatters. The poor we meet are supervisors of clean up crews. What comes clear in the 30 days our friend is how both cultures are struggling with economic and social change. Two job families in the US is of necessity because of high costs. The Indian culture is much like ours in the 1950s -- stay at home moms who fend for their husbands. The new boom hits our host family hard, and the husband is torn between the old and the new. The brother\'s wife is bent on getting a job and her husband feels neglected. He accepts his fate but doesn\'t like it one bit.
But our progammer friend finds the Indians upbeat and positive, in an environment that would turn we Americans off. When the 30 days are up, our progammer is glad to go home -- away from a place that lives in both the 21st and 18th centuries. He is emotional about leaving his new friends and even more so to return to his girlfriend and new baby. We learn to know and like him and gain more understanding of the meaning of a \"world economy.\"