When it rains it pours…

I wish I could write about all the other things that have been happening lately, but it all will be overwritten by my experience at the police station this morning. First things first, I’m not in trouble, but I do have to submit papers to extend my visa. I went yesterday but they had a list on the wall of documents you need. This list is different than the one they listed on line. I compiled all the documents, made two copies (as they requested) and went home – granted, they have all this paperwork from the first time I went to the police station. I have to go to two police stations, my local station (first) and then the Pune police station. I got there over a half an hour early because I know that the lines can get busy and people cut and the officers take a while, or take breaks. I took out my Hindi book (this is cheating in a way because I know they give me brownie points for learning Hindi – which it did). One officer, not the one I had to get the stamp from, saw and we had a mini conversation, he smiled, I knew that I had his approval. The other officer, less friendly, saw all my paperwork, needed a copy of another form, said he could “take care of things” if I wanted. I said I would go get the other copy done and go to the other desk as needed. I went out, got two copies of everything else, came back to the front counter where I needed the other copies of the same documents that I submitted the first time and ended up speaking with the same man I registered with the first time (months ago). I also spoke a bit in Hindi with him. He kept me waiting for some time, and apologized. I couldn’t believe it. No one apologizes here, especially police officers to civilians. It was sweet. He was also a very sweet man in general. Him and his office mates inquired about what I did (as did the other men earlier), how long I’ve been here, etc. It was nice. I got my stamp and returned back to the back office.
I wish I could say this officer was as friendly or civil even as the nice officer. At this point there was a longer line, but I stuck my head in to show that I had returned. There were a few other foreigners from Europe and Iran. Indians are not font of Iranians. My perception is that there are many who come here and they feel about Iranians as many Americans feel about other immigrants. It’s sad, in both countries. I’m at an advantage because I’m American (which is somewhere they all want to go) and because I work for children in their country. Anyway, before I got into the office, a young man who was also there yesterday went to see the same officer I had to see because he left his passport there. The officer charged him Rs300 to give it back! I was furious. When I sat down I was shaking with anger at this man that I had to be nice to in order to get my paperwork done. He asked how much his fees would be, that he should charge me more because I’m working. I tried to play dumb, the officer next to him chimed in and said I do charity work. How awful that the other officer had to “save” me. I have to go back in 2 days to pick up my papers then. I’m nervous I’ll open my mouth and say something for him to not give my papers. I would love to report him to the Pune police. When I got to work I was fuming.

Moving on…
My computer died. This happened while I was sick and trying to watch a movie. I’ve had my mac without problems for over 5 years. I’m distraught. This is why I haven’t written in a while. There are no official Mac stores here, and definitely no genius bars, so I had to give it to the guy who fixes our office computers. We’ll see how long or how much money it takes for me to get my computer back.

When it rains it pours. I came down with my first fever since I think I was 13 years old. After the Mahabaleshwar trip I went on an Education Team Retreat. We went to the Sulay winery in Nasik. It was a great trip, we were very productive, we got to spend time with the Bombay education team, we drank wine, bonded within our own team, all in all it was a great trip – until we got back. The 4 hour drive to get home took 7, we all fell sick. I’m still recovering from, what I think was, the flu.

As much as I want to continue, I must run to my capoeira class.

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