We really didn’t mean to! I wanted to go to a Catholic church, not because it’s Sunday and I wanted to go to mass, but because my mother passed away two months ago, and you can’t erase the effects of 10 years of catholic boarding school! And it was also a nice way to get us out of the hotel with a specific purpose in mind. It’s not easy to explain to your driver “Just drive around, please”. They like to have a destination, a place to go TO.
I had found pictures of a funky little church on Google Earth. It’s very close to where we are, a 10-minute drive. On a Sunday, there aren’t many people on the streets of Whitefield. It’s even eerily quiet.
We were just passing the gate when our driver announced: “Oh, there is a marriage”. He explained the ceremony would take place at the church, but the reception would be some place else. Same as in the US. I thought we were going to turn around, but he slowly drove down the dirt road to the church and parked. We got out, walked up the hill up to a statue of Jesus on the cross, right next to the water tower. We walked back down. I was disappointed the church looked closed, with metal bars. But we still slowly went around the building and I could see through the open windows that a door was open on the other side. So we walked as quietly as we could as to not disturb the wedding guests, and came inside.
Simplicity. Humility. It was just the two of us. An older gentleman came in a few minutes after us, sat at a pew with a prayer book. He didn’t even make eye contact.
Outside, about a hundred guests were waiting. A few people smiled at us. The saris were beautiful, most of them with gold or silver accents. Since we were not invited, I took no pictures, I am not that rude!
And then to the grocery store we go, because you learn a lot about a country in grocery stores. We bought cookies, and drinks. I like “Slice”, a mango drink. The checkout guy explained to us that if we were to … (we didn’t understand what he said here), it would be cheaper. So we did what most people would do and simply answered “huh huh, thank you”. He continues to ring the cookies. The man in line behind us then repeated in an English we are more familiar with that if we buy the large bottle, it is 20 rupees cheaper. That’s how nice they are here: they translate from English to English!
Tomorrow we go house hunting.