I made the class laugh today. And finally I feel like I’m accomplishing something.
I hope the last few posts weren’t too whiny. India is very beautiful. There are exquisite architectural details, even in what could be taken as drab buildings from a distance.
There is something to be said for growing accustomed to the environment, as well. I honestly saw nothing on my ride to the office this morning that made me want to report it.
My host, Navaneeth, took me to another hotel for a buffet containing traditional Indian dishes. “Would you like to try some of this?” filled my plate to the brim.
At home I eat at 9am, and am hungry by noon. Famished. Here I eat at 7am, and we don’t break for lunch until 1pm and I still really not all that hungry, but we go eat.
Today, also, I was not very hungry but the others wanted lunch and Navaneeth wanted to show me this buffet.
“This is very spicy, would you like some?” would normally elicit a “Umm, no, but thanks" from my lips. I couldn’t refuse, however. I had been wanting someone to show me India. Introduce me to India even if it is only through food, and here it is. I couldn’t say no.
So I ate. And ate. Chili Eggs (hard boiled eggs, floured and fried with a spicy chili sauce, although they spell it “chilly sauce’). Chicken kebab that reminded me of jerk spices. Another chicken dish swimming in orange sauce (“very spicy” Nav. said). Lamb and rice, that has a name but even though I repeated it three times in class I still cannot remember it. The food did have a spice to it, but it wasn’t unbearable spice. It was spice with flavor.
The class asked me if I had the curd rice when I explained what I ate. I didn’t explain how the word ‘curd’ doesn’t inspire me to eat it.
The after lunch banter was inspired by the morning laughter. One group of students was working on a server I have been using for months, and it was broken. I accused them of breaking it, and told them as punishment they had to fix it. The quiet and serious class laughed!
Later a class member asked if he could have my external HD, which has the install files on it. I remarked without really thinking, “You can’t HAVE it, but you can borrow it.” Again, laughter. More than I expected, but what a great feeling.
My taxi driver back to the hotel was much more creative than my previous taxi drivers. He took me through an interesting route through some side-streets on the way home today and I saw people living in thatch huts in what used to be the courtyard of a building. Shops with pre-packaged snacks added color to the corners. Bicycles, rather than motorcycles, lined the streets. Roofs repaired with old political banners. And in the middle of all this a sign that says, ‘Internet Café’. And I shouldn’t forget the food stall proudly proclaiming “Homely food” (I do not think that word means what you think it means).
Another thing I noticed today is that native Indians use the english word ‘take’ in many ways. Today I noticed it being used in reference to ‘My wife wants me to take a car” when meaning, I think, “My wife wants me to buy a car.” Or perhaps there is a government subsidy and you take the subsidy to assist you buying a car. Later he asked if I would like to take some coffee, too. I don’t hear the stereotypical “would you like to be taking”, though.
This afternoon clouds rolled in, and it cooled off considerably. I’ve not seen rain yet while I’ve been here. I wonder if tonight will be the first.
Yesterday I saw a mosquito on the door of the bathroom. I smashed her. I saw another in the elevator today. And then, when I got into the taxi cab this morning 5 were flying around. I smashed what I could, and rolled down the window. That’s all I’ve seen since, but I wonder where they suddenly came from.