mangoes and coffee

I broke down and got the maid to wash my clothes. Auntie said I should only pay her Rs30 but I don’t feel that that’s enough at all. I’ll pay her Rs50. I feel like that’s a rounder number and is more justified. It was amazing to come home and look in my laundry basket and see nothing in there. I’ve kept some clothes that I knew would take longer to wash in there for a few weeks, thinking that next time I’ll get around to them. Next time never came. I can’t believe everything is clean.
Yesterday I remembered it was mango season and went back on my mango kick. I can have up to three or four in a day. They’re amazing. There are so many different kinds of mangoes too. The most expensive, a smaller one, but not the smallest, are ridiculously amazing. You can eat it like an apple. I do sometimes.
One of the new teachers, whom I bonded with on the retreat, and who now I also consider a friend, told me about a tiny hole in the wall restaurant that has authentic south Indian food, amazing south Indian food. Yesterday I had the best idly I’ve ever had. And the best part about this place, because it’s authentic South Indian, it has authentic South Indian coffee. I had the best coffee I’ve had since I’ve been here. And it’s not just good for Indian coffee. It’s just good coffee. So I’m on my way right now to meet this teacher for a South Indian breakfast with South Indian coffee. It’s a great way to start a morning. The morning started scrumptiously already after rolling out of bed and munching into a sweet, delicious mango.

In bringing you cultural differences, as I try to do at least every once in a while, I thought I’d introduce the concept of the sneeze. Here, when you sneeze, no one says bless you. Instead, you say excuse me. I just thought that was interesting. I guess the western theory of your soul trying to pop out of your body never reached here. It’s kind of cool.

Yesterday, I finally was able to say, forget it, and took whoever wanted to go, to the park to play capoeira. There were 7 of us in total. I taught for about an hour, just the basics, and then we played a few games. It was really fun, I got a great response, and, we’ll do it again on Monday. It did make me extremely tired today though. Despite this lack of sleep – also due to the fact I was catching up on my episodes of Rachel Maddow on my podcasts – I did a pretty intense and (from what I heard from feedback, great) training on critical and creative thinking. Unfortunately the heat of the day got to me and by the end of all of our trainings, I was pretty cranky. It’s just too hot to sit in a room all day. I’m very happy that my 3 months of research paid off. I hope it’s something the teachers can use. The education system here is very much stuck in the 70s. Everything is rote memorization, you’re not right unless you can regugitate the answer at the back of the book, it’s not encouraging for creative thinking, for being different, for asking why. This led me to the conclusion that it’s our job to teach our kids how to think. This got me on this whole Edward deBono kick which took over my life for almost a month or so, and led me to a three month research binge.

I’m off to see Kungfu Panda 2 in 3D!

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