Pre-vacation weekend

Before talking about the vacation thus far, I have to back up a minute to Saturday night when there was a going away party and Aaron’s arrival. I invited my friends home on Saturday for a kind of farewell. On Friday night I got a surprise from Niddhi, my friend from Bombay who tried to wake me up from my nap. Convinced it was Gayatri, I rolled over only to be pleasantly surprised. She stayed for the weekend. Saturday was a whirlwind day. I packed – it was a very slow and steady process, more slow than steady. I got to go around and about with Niddhi, of course had pani puri (I made sure that I had that as much as possible), went to get a lovely massage, and then cooked food for my friends. It was fun to be able to cook it all. The theme of the party was wine bottles. I took my leftover ones from the house, took off all the stickers, and everyone was responsible for painting one. Everyone obliged as well. It was great. By the time everyone was there, the food was out, the wine was out, and the empty ones were being painted. We all had a great time! As people left I got worried that no one was going to be there to greet Aaron, but a few friends stuck it out, including the “kid” (19 year old who thinks he’s grown up) who invited himself to sleep over as well.

Aaron got home around 2:30, it was a strange mix of worlds but has been working out quite nicely. Aaron is very relaxed and goes with the flow easily. After a while of chatting, I was the first to say good night and get into bed. It was interesting to put the two boys together. I don’t think – and I’m joined by others on this thought – that Virendra, a very open, yet closed minded Marathi boy, would ever find himself sleeping next to a black man with dreadlocks from New York. They got along really well though and I was impressed.

Sunday was sleeping late and throwing away. It was such a great feeling to be able to give all my extra stuff to the watchman. He got a lot of stuff including a mattress, bed items, kitchenware, perfume, some extra clothes, and cleaning supplies. When we left I handed him the last of the stuff and he said how happy he was, what a great day it had been, and thanked me. Apparently his wife and kids had passed through and they were extremely happy as well. It’s not much that I could have done. I think if I were still new to India I would have said something like giving that away has taught me about the value of things, but I know the value of things now, even little things like cleaning supplies or an extra set of silverware. I don’t how to convey the meaning of it though. 

After all of the packing was done, we had home made pani puri at the brothers’ house and then a mango shake at our juice place. These are two things I must take advantage of while I’m still here. As I got home a few friends came over to wish me off. We went upstairs to get rid of the last of the stuff and wait for my landlord. He doesn’t talk to me, but he talks to Manoj. And since Manoj was there, he didn’t really have much to say to me. It’s hysterical. He went through the house making sure everything was working and asked if I used it – like the geyser and washing machine. He’s an adorable old man. I didn’t get to do much before he was chatting up with Manoj and asking him about things like the gas and other incidents.

Before I knew it, it was time to go to the bus station so that Aaron and I could get to Bombay to get on our flight to Udaipur. We stopped to get the best wada pav in the city. He can eat everything. It’s shocking and awesome at the same time. I feel like at some point his stomach is going to explode and hate him for the change in time and food and spice he’s ingesting. Until then, I’ll remain completely impressed. Sucuri greeted us with open arms and him and Aaron spoke about movies as I passed out until it was time to go. We hopped in a riskshaw (I stepped on a rat on the way out of his society and it was the grossest thing ever! – Did you guys know that rats squeal with a gutteral voice?) to the airport, met Gayatri, and went on our way.

Day 1&2 will have to be tomorrow though.

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