a day off

This weekend there were two grand events: India won the world cup for cricket and Gudi Parwa (the Maharastran New Year). I went to Mumbai on Saturday right after the world cup began. It was a pretty amazing beginning. India’s fielding was very impressive. I was at a friend’s house until I hopped on the bus. By the time I got to Mumbai and into capoeira class, the game was over half way over and we could hear fireworks every time India got a wicket or something exciting happened. As class finished we could hear the massive amounts of fireworks and cheering from all over. We knew India won. I was excited with everyone else, but the fact that it may or may not have all been rigged, as half the people told me it was, kind of ruined the excitement for me. People said there was no way that India could have lost in their own country. Some people even knew the way the game was going to work out. Others said that there is too much pride involved and that the cricket players would never do that for a game this big. I’m skeptical now.
The other event, Gudi Parwa was on Monday. This meant I got the day off; and a day off is always exciting. This also meant that on Sunday night I got to stay in Mumbai. Fortunatly for me, my friend Chico was having a barbeque on his roof. He made the best paneer (cottage cheese square) and brinjal (the English word for eggplant) ever. I was beyond impressed. His house is a narrow building. You have to climb up stairs that are almost like a ladder to get to his house. It’s so amazing. His roof is even better. Chico went to grad school in the US and also lived in South America for a while. I find most people in capoeira, from all over the world, very interesting people. I was trying to analyze my friends in India and realized that capoeira plays such a large role in my happiness here. If I didn’t have it, I would have them. I’m very lucky.
I didn’t make it to any Gudi Parwa parties or poojas. I got home too late and ended up sleeping at a different friend’s house. When I woke up I tried to leave but my friend’s parents insisted that I stay for breakfast, and then insisted I stay for lunch. Indian parents are worse than Italian parents. I made it out just in time to catch my bus back.
Fun little story for you – on my way back to Pune we made our usual stop at the rest area. As usual, I got a coffee. Coffee here is a small cup. It’s instant coffee made mostly with milk. It cost Rs18. I handed the cashier a 20 and I got my receipt and 2 little candies. Apparently that was my Rs2 change.
I moved into the upstairs room of my landladys’ buildling. When I told her that I was moving out, it was almost as if she said I couldn’t. They then offered me the room upstairs (which they said they would never open up to anyone else) and lowered my rent. It’s much smaller, but has a real bathroom. It doesn’t have a kitchen, but they said they’d give me a table and a burner. They feed me often anyway. I think now she’s making more of an effort to feed me. The only thing is that I really like to cook, so that might be a problem sooner or later.

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