Saturday, May 3, 2008

Sweltering, and lovely

It is deliciously hot in this country. So humid I have not felt dry since I got off the plane from Brussels. I'm trying to get used to the side to side head bob instead of my American up-down nod for yes.
I've never stuck out so much in my life. It's kind of like being the main attraction at the zoo, because I'm not only a foot taller than everyone around me but I'm also the color of milk in a chocolate world. We went clothes shopping today, I bought the material for my first sari. When I chose it, out of nowhere about ten little women came out and started wrapping me up in it and speaking to me (in Tamil, so don't ask what they said). I just kind of lifted up my elbows and let them walk underneath my arms wrapping and folding and tucking. One of the came out with "tall!!" and I head bobbed and we all started laughing like it was the funniest thing ever said in English or Tamil. I liked the girls in the fabric shop; we grinned at each other a lot for no reason, and it made the language barrier seem smaller. Then Sydney pulled out a camera and we took a picture. Talk about Gulliver's travels. I look like a freak. And I am, let's be honest.
The food is...well it's not the "Bombay House" in Provo, that's for sure. I got these little white cakes for breakfast that looked like doughy mashed up rice and were surprisingly spicy. Everything is spicy. Tomorrow we think we'll try to find a non-vegetarian restaurant so we can have omlettes...which will probably be really spicy too.
The beggers get me most. It's illegal to give them money, but they are everywhere and most are obviously disabled. I feel so horrid walking by, this stupid rich American who can't spare a single rupie for a mother with one eye and a suckling baby. They get pretty persistent, though. They grab my arms and walk along with me for a whole block. I don't feel so bad saying no to the persistent ones; it's the quieter ones that get me. Everyone else wants to sell me something, mostly a ride in an overpriced rick-shaw (which is like a mix between a taxi and a bicicle). Speaking of transportation, I have had about four near death experiences today. I can count them easily because that is the number of times I had to cross a main street today. Lot of horns and screaming of brakes. The taxi ride from the airport was awesome. We nearly missed every car that passed us and, apparently, red lights are just for decoration here since we certainly didn't stop for any.
I bought jasmine for my hair this morning, and everytime I smell something aweful (which is often) I just shake my head a little and a nice little jasmine breeze half covers it. This is gong to be a habit, I think.


Grant said...

Wow. Gosh, girl. This is so the experience to be having. Hey, post some pics, yo. I have to see this stuff. :)

Have fun. Don't let the tapeworm bite.

Natlyk said...

Jen... its been three days and i'm already worried about you! but sounds like your first few days have been wonderful. stay safe.

Nancy said...

I think about 6 people have asked me how you're doing this weekend. All of them should have been able to look up your blog, but I'm glad to know you're fine so far. I'll keep praying for you, anyway!

Maybe you could bring me back some Jasmine. That could come in useful here sometimes, too. Thanks for your note, etc. I'm sad that we didn't cross paths once more. Love ya!