Points from my last post updated

So there are a few things that I promised I would update you on when I had time. I’m not sure I have all of that time right now, but I’ll do my best.

First I said that it’s cold here. This is relatively speaking. Less than a week ago I was dying of heat, didn’t need my fan on at night anymore, but was comfortable with just a light sheet. When I got back from Bombay, I found that I needed my warmest clothes to sleep, in the morning I needed a sweater to go to work, and in the shade it was quite cool. I understand that in New York there’s snow falling and all, but still, it’s cold here. I bought a nice fleece blanket on Monday evening and I feel much better.

Second: I made friends on the train. I bought my ticket from Bombay for the general class. This is cheap, 50 Rupee. It’s not a bad ride if you get a seat. On my way to Bombay I sat on the floor with Sampada for almost four hours. That was in the woman’s car. Finding the woman’s car is a little difficult and I hate asking too many people where things are, so I ended up next to the general class. The only problem was that the train car was overflowing with people, so much so I couldn’t even imagine fitting in the corridor. So I decided to hop on the corridor of the reservation car. This was fine with me, I would have been happy to ride there the full time. As the train was pulling away two people approached me to tell me that that was not the local train. I assured them I knew and we pulled off. One person I asked to make sure I was on the right train said that I could move to the general class on the next stop. When the next stop came, he came to help me out, but also realized that the general car class was too full. He said I should sit with him and his family. I said I was fine where I was but he said that it wouldn’t be safe. I’m not sure what he meant by that because I have never felt unsafe here, but I took him up on his offer. Him and his family are from Bombay and were heading this way to complete his threading ceremony, a ceremony done only by Brahmans. He has to complete this before he can get married. They spoke in Marathi almost the whole time, asked me a few questions, and were very sweet to me. They even fed me some wada from a famous wada pav store in Bombay. When it was time for me to get off they made me promise I would text or call when I reached my home, and I obliged.

Third, I had a great and very enlightening conversation with Santosh from work about racism. He inquired about the KKK. There are people like that here in India as well. I don’t think there’s a place in the world where there doesn’t exist a small group (or large) of individuals where they think they’re better. It was just an interesting conversation. I really enjoy my lunches with my friends from work.

My fourth point was my capoeira class but apparently they had to cancel it and I have to meet with the manager tomorrow. On the happy note about that, I finally spoke with the group of kids who hang out on my lane and had a great conversation with them, with a parent, and they want to learn capoeira. I ran into one of them tonight and told him that he has to ask his parents and to remind his friends to ask his parents as well.

My fifth point: everyone is so nice. From work to people I meet on the streets to help me with directions, to all the new friends I’ve made, both here in Pune and in Bombay, I don’t think I’ve ever been in a place where everyone has been so amazing. I can’t compare it to Guatemala or Brazil, although I would like to. The experiences are so much different. I think I was too young and also was sheltered a little bit differently in Brazil due to the nature of the city. In Guatemala I was confined (for the most part) to a small municipality and members and friends of As Green As It Gets, so I don’t think I can compare it either. At any point in time if I’m lost (physically or a little mentally) I feel like there are several people who I can count on (even though I haven’t known them that long) who can help me out. I appreciate that so much.

Ok, there was the difference in Bombay and Pune on my list of things to speak about as well, but I don’t really feel like doing that right now.

I was walking back from the bank (because my bank account is finally set up!) and I passed a real estate agency. I wasn’t really planning on looking for a new flat as of yet, but I figured I’d let fate play a little game with me. So I stopped in and was taken to a few flats, all were nicer than any of the other flats that I ever saw before. Some were a little out of my price range – but I’ve been looking with someone else who’s been looking for a flat as well, so split we could probably afford it. The last flat they showed me was my dream place. There’s a roof, it’s in an apartment building, there’s a real toilet (which is only a part of it being soooo much better), there’s a real bedroom, it comes with furniture, the kitchen has 2 burners (I’ve been doing all my cooking on just one), and there’s a swing bed in the middle of the living room. Apparently, they said, it’s common in Gujarat. It’s 500 more than I pay now, but I’d be independent, wouldn’t have someone looking over my shoulder all the time, taking advantage of me. I do feel a little bad about leaving. But I have to remind myself that it’s my life. P.S. 500 is about equal to $12USD. It doesn’t seem like a lot, but it is. But I figure my peace of mind and a good toilet is worth it, not to mention the place is just THAT much nicer. Any opinions?

More: So I was reading through some emails and I got this little FYI from Pooja

Hello Didi,
Please note the following mail sent by Shruti Shastri one of our volunteer.
Regards,
Pooja
Hello Pooja,
I would certainly like to come for the session. And the last training session was also very nice. It was informative and also great fun.

That made my day. I think I’ll end things here for today. I have to get ready to go to my friend’s flat so I’ll be closer to my center tomorrow morning. Good night!

    • Naveen
    • December 15th, 2010

    Nice Mehndi snap !! In the 5th pic, did your search for unidentified objects bring any results 🙂
    I agree Peace of Mind is definitely worth 500 extra Rupees, that way one doesn’t get lost a little mentally 😉

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