|Chilling in my first experience of the Western world in India - Cafe Coffee Day! With AC!|
|The way wires are hung and 'organised' around here..|
|Cafe Coffee Day menu!|
|Hah.... love the grammar, and who the target market is for these.|
|A nice cold green-apple soda... such a refreshing drink.|
|Here is the mishti doi! It has an interesting gelatine texture... not sure if I love it, but I do enjoy it, as the vendor gives it to you cold.|
|So warm, that everyone just drops where they can to rest.|
|Tonight we made garlic naan pizzas. So yum.|
|Today I bought a tiffin tin - Dave + Stacey S, you should be proud of me!|
|It has compartments so that you can keep your rice and curry separate, and bring it to work with you! So excited to use this! I bought it for about 130 INR = just over $3 NZD.|
Today Judy and I woke up early so that we could attend the monthly service FS holds for the women who work there, only to find out we were given the wrong time and missed the bus... so instead we decided that seeing as we were up, we might as well do a bit of exploring.
E had bought some mishti doi last night, and I was so keen to try some, so we headed to the local mishti stall. It cost me just 12 Rupees for 100g; Judy's was 10 because she decided on the un-sweetened version.
We had a late start due to the service, and worked until 3pm. I love that some of the women are beginning to try include me, some of them will get my attention, "Di-di! Naam ki?' to find out my name. I am doing my best to remember all of theirs...
After lunch, J and N took me in my first auto-rickshaw, and on my first Indian bus, (which was an experience), on our way to Spencers at Mani Square (a mall). The last leg of the trip took us through some slums... which for me was quite eye-opening. And then before I knew it, I was walking through the metal detectors, proving my camera was a camera and not a bomb, and I was back in NZ. Kind of. It was so surreal to walk into a tidy, air-conditioned, and very Western mall, knowing where I had been just two minutes beforehand. It was so nice to feel in place for once, yet I felt quite sick about the extremes. It was so good to read packaging I could understand, and find food I would eat at home, but I became so frustrated about the security - every shop had so many security guards, and when we left Spencer's (a grocery store), they checked your receipts to make sure you hadn't stolen anything. It felt very suffocating. And it angered me that they were so focused on the potential for the odd thief, when so little efforts are put into policing the trafficking of women into forced sex-labour.
J mentioned today what I had brought up with N, which was the fact that men will stare at the boys because they are white, then all of a sudden they will be like, 'Oh wait! There is a white woman with them - so much more interesting, let's stare at her until she is uncomfortable!' J said, 'It's nice having you around to detract the attention away from me!' It was quite hilarious, and a very valid point. It is like the men have never seen a white woman before. I think I might snap soon, just to let it all out on one unfortunate fellow.
Okay. End of rant.
Tonight I went out to the market and to Ricky's (a restaurant) by myself, which is a huge step for me. It was the first time I was buying fruit and veg in the market alone, and paying for things etc. without needing anyone to help understand transactions and such. I felt so independent and free, even just for an hour, and it was quite calming. I purchased some things for our pizzas, and picked up the naans from Ricky's, headed back to the flat, and made dinner.
Now I am sitting in the lounge, with the fans at full speed, two Americans, a Korean, and a fellow Kiwi, typing away as they play poker.
I like it here. There is never a dull day. Despite a few ups and downs, I like it.