This wonderful fruit stall vendor sold us some fruit but as we were leaving, she slipped two guavas into my hand as a gift, as a gesture of kindness. It was obvious we werenít really natives. I really appreciate that about a lot of the people here. They are poor as dirt but they still have a heart to give, even if it means a little less for their take home money for the day.
And no, those are not Nazi symbols. Theyíre going the wrong way and they mean pretty much the opposite of what Germany stood for in that era.
Iím just going to save myself thought and name every post India. Maybe.
Iíve been here three days now. The time is flying much like I thought it would. There has been pretty much no culture shock for me.
I still havenít gotten quite used to an auto rickshaw (..which is this) driving us head on into a bus and turning at the last minute. There are no road rules here and everything is traffic chaos. From above it is like a beautiful choreographed dance, but itís actually just traffic running entirely on human cunning and instinct.
Crossing the road is like Russian roulette! Life here is definitely bustling and insane-o.
However, none of it is new.
For the longest time I didnít have much memory of India. My mother said it was due to the fact that young children that are suddenly jolted out of their comfort zone often have to adapt by forgetting what their past comforts are so they can survive in their new surroundings. Forgetting their previous environment to make emotional room for the new oneÖ Itís a psychological defense mechanism that I went through for a solid 18 years at least. I lost my ability to speak my language and any memories of my six years before I was forced to change countries, cultures, languages, and people. Even now I cannot speak even though I can fully understand the spoken language.
Lately, Iíve noticed many of my ďlostĒ memories resurfacing. Itís been happening the last three years for the most part. Suddenly Iíll have a flashback of a moment in my past that I had no recollection of for nearly two decades. Now that Iím in India, itís like the floodgates have opened. This did not happen to me the last time I was here. I start to remember faces and places and people and events from when I was so little.
A flower on the street sent a wave of memories awash in my mind this morning.
At the beauty parlour, the woman kept speaking to me in Tamil and suddenly the right words for responses fell together in my head. I didnít have the guts to actually speak them because I was still surprised I had a mental grip on a sentence that made perfect sense. But there they were. Since then Iíve been formulating responses in my head to make sure this isnít just a one-off thing. Itís not.
Itís been a trip. In more ways than one.
I was griping about how crazy this trip was, and how unplanned it was, and how Iíd just be another foreigner to everyone.
But, as usual, it seems God had other plans. And as usual, theyíre unexpected, yet necessary for the solid formation of who I am.
Oh yeah. Photos. :)
The first day I was here we went to a local sari shop and picked out a beautiful pink peacock feathered sari for me. I will have to post pictures of myself wearing it. Iíll just say at Rs.2000 it was a steal.
At another clothing shop, I picked up a few nice tops for a great price too. I am thoroughly amazed at how well Indians are at packing a place full of stock. This room is barely bigger than my bedroom but it houses an entire store, a few employees and a tiny fitting room.
Beautiful saris in every color:
Tomorrow, I hope to have time to post some images I took of everyday life for the working class on the streets. Iím hoping to also have some crazy video of the traffic antics I get to be driven in by the end of this week.
Also itís totally like 75-90 degrees at night & day. I am loving it. Itís midnight here now so Iím just going to pop off to bed. Hope everyone in America is lovely. :)
Dear people on the internet that read my blog.
I am overseas.
I am also unbelievably bad at updating my blog when I am not half-drunk on a plane.
Here is thispicture I took on my phone the morning of my last flight.
So far I have only been taking pictures with my cell phone. Thereís something freeing about having something that takes decent photos but is completely under the radar on the streets of India. I may yet pick up my poor ignored DSLR when the big family functions arrive but for now I will be keeping you happy, I hope, with phone captured tidbits of my culture.