bugs are coming back

Did you know there are flying cockroaches in India? They’re tiny, or tinier than the ones in Brazil. I didn’t know it could fly. It was by my bed last week. Luckily I was on the phone with my friend who was quite humored by my little freak out attack. If I were him I would have laughed at me too. It was not fun. I killed it eventually, but it definitely made me squeamish. It only added to my bug freak out from earlier in the week when I saw a centipede-like really long silver-fish-y kind of bug. Those are my least favorite. I was on skype with my parents at that point and my freak out, at least, amused my dad. Worse is, I didn’t kill that one.
It’s been hot; I’ve heard hotter than usual. Today was no different except for the fact that it was only the second day I can remember where it wasn’t completely sunny. It was also the first day that it drizzled. I was completely shocked. So were many other folks. Only one person said that in between seasons it might drizzle. I haven’t seen rain since November; it was weird. When speaking to my friend Pooja from work, I commented that it was raining. She said, yes, well we messed up, we did something bad to nature. Every time something goes abnormal, I get nervous.
Another difference is the amount of mosquitoes I see. I can’t leave my door open anymore, which is a shame because my flat stays pretty hot even during the evening. I’d rather not risk the buzz of a mosquito in my ear, mosquito bites, or any disease that might come along with those bites.
This weekend I ended up in Mumbai not on purpose. One girl is moving to London, another guy was back from Bangalore for the weekend, another friend wanted to spend some time with me, so I packed up on Saturday morning and spent less than 24 hours there; I left immediately after work on Saturday and got there a little late. It was completely worth it, as always, because I got to go to Dharavi. It’s always an amazing high I get after being there. The kids love me and I love them right back. At this point they know who knows me best – Anandh, Raju, Vishal, and Sohil. This week a few of them walked up to me and told me straight away that Anandh wasn’t there because he was in church; he showed up later in a shiny, silver long-sleeved shirt with nice black pants, and then did class anyway. Vishal, in his perfect English, noted that I wasn’t there last week. Sohil was good for smiles, as always. And Raju and Anandh walked with me to and from the car, holding my hand and speaking to me slowly in Hindi, even though they know I don’t understand most words. We understand each other though. The boy who doesn’t talk joined class for the first time, not for much time, but for some time doing basic movements. He’s letting us get a little closer to him. I’ll try to take some pictures soon so you can all know who I’m talking about. I might just wait for Erin and Noemi to get here to have a little photo shoot. After Dharavi, we got thali (South Indian food served on a big banana leaf) and I made my way back to the train, early. I got back and had enough time to relax. The train was so hot; so, so, so hot. It made me think that during summer I might try to make my way to the AC car. I did get a whole seat to myself and I passed out for 2 hours.
I’m not sure why, but no one is really that interested in talking to me. On the way there I met a girl named Pryianka, but we only spoke at the very end. She was very upset because someone made her late for the train, which meant that she didn’t get a seat. She was very emotional on the phone as she stood over me. I almost offered her mine seat but was not that stupid. I was very lucky to get the seat on the general car. I was a little nervous at first because when I walked onto the car (or jumped as the case may be because I managed to get on while the train was still pulling into the station – one of the only ways to be assured a seat) a man told me to sit and watch his bags. He walked on a few minutes with his wife and daughter. Without him, I would have stood for almost 4 hours. Pryianka made friends with another guy who was also standing, but then he got off in the first wave of exits before Dadar. She offered me some biscuits when she bought them and we began conversing when she finally got to sit as the train cleared out a few stops before Dadar. She’s a student in Pune but is from Mumbai. She usually takes the bus, but because she’s traveling a bit more often (twice a month) she decided she would take the train. It was nice because she was patient getting on and off the train – this isn’t common. People often get up almost ten to fifteen minutes before their stop. They say goodbye to the people they were speaking with, forfeit their seats, to stand up for 15 minutes, only to have a chance to stand closer to the door. Everyone will get off, why bother moving, especially if the train will definitely be there long enough for you to get off. I can understand it on the local trains in Mumbai. For those trains you don’t really need to move to get out, the crowd moves you for you. It was nice to sit with Priyanka on my way to Khar, I managed to explain my little project, and although reluctant at first, she let me take her picture.
I got back to find that the water pump to the main house broke. My landlady informed me that mine wasn’t broken (thank goodness because I really needed a shower after a long, very hot train ride back which was after a long hot class at Dharavi). I offered that anyone could fill up from my place, and her son informed me that they already had. It’s a little weird to know people walk in my place when I’m not around. I have no choice but to trust them though, and I don’t have any feeling that they do anything in my place. After a lovely shower, I went out with one of my capoeira students from Pune. I’m making friends with his group of friends, which is nice because they’re nice to hang out with, and it’s nice to know some more people in the place that I live.

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