All fun and games, it’s not. We sometimes feel like we were parachuted here with a basic survival kit (a roof over our head) but not much beyond that. We are not here on vacation, E. has a job to do. What HQ believes is in place is often non-existent. Simple things such as a business phone, a pretty basic tool in today’s world, took weeks to get. His work computer has been “in the shop” for over a month now. We have thousands of dollars stuck somewhere in “reimbursement land”, and this since October. Our reality is not what the expectations are. Although we have adjusted to our reality, HQ still has false ideas of how things work (or not) here. And now we are being told that the E.’s regular trips to the U.S. that we were expecting will be cut. Although I understand the business rationale, to us, it’s a sanity saving trip. It’s also a way to (re)connect with the colleagues he left behind and whom he will be working with again in a couple of years. He’s more than a voice over a conference call. He’s my best friend.
Hence, sometimes the morale is really low.
A few days ago, seeing my hubby slouching on the couch, mentally curling back into his shell after a call to the US, I literally tugged on his T-shirt and demanded a ride to the villages. It took a few tugs but he relented, without much enthusiasm at first.
We went our regular route, pass the watermelon man, who wasn’t there, pass the bakery with the yummy masala and jeera cookies, then to the right onto a new road. 46 kilometers later, we were back home, and HQ’s problems were far behind. Instant Prozac!
You’ll probably be happy to know that it I was wearing my shiny black new helmet. After the foot incident, I realized I like my head quite a bit, that tractors are very big, therefore, it was time to buy a pink helmet. Unfortunately, the only pink one we found was too big. The seller told me to close the visor and it would fit better. He slammed it shut, but nope, still too big! Honestly, I don’t like it much, people can’t spot me as a goofy foreigner as easily, so the number of smiles has been drastically reduced. But I am safer.
I wish I could draw, because I didn’t have a camera, just my eyes wide open and a constant smile glued to my face. We saw a family of monkeys on the side of the road. We do see monkeys once in a while in town (ok, I have seen one in Whitefield, on my way to the airport) but these were cooler. There were at least 4 of them, rather large and really in the wild. They were in a ditch looking for their dinner.
We saw dozens of kids getting out of school in their white uniforms. Even in the villages kids have uniforms, girls looking like catholic schoolgirls with pleated skirts, white socks, and braids with big bows. They wear black bows during the week and white bows on Saturdays. Some aspects of colonisation still survive.
We got lost and ended in an area around a temple where for several hundred meters, we only saw women.
We went through a Muslim village. It was a very tiny village, with a “mini-mosque” and all the men wearing a skullcap.
I saw a Catholic high school that is the size of my Texas two car garage, down in the middle of the fields. I will have to go back and see if it’s abandoned or still open. School just let out for the summer so I will have to wait a couple of months.
All of this to introduce you to KittiesVindaloo’s baby: VespaVindaloo. With the (new, bought last week at the Dubai airport) GoPro camera securely attached to the front of the scooter, we hope to show you what “our” India looks like. Here’s the first installment.
If the video doesn’t start, click here: A ride through Bengaluru
Move over Rakesh Roshan, Meow Meow Pictures is coming!