Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Experiences that are the norm here are very random to us! A few recent ones include:

-A man walking around the market this morning with a basket kept pulling out a hissing king cobra to be admired. Some people gave him money. I stayed as far away as possible.

-Yesterday I had trouble using a 500 rupee note (about $20) because it was ever so slightly torn. Like 3mm. And several shops refused the bill.

-Hannah and Rachel went into a beauty salon today and saw women getting their arms and underarms (ouch!) waxed while other women were having their skin bleached. You read correctly, bleached! Another ouch.

-My purse is inspected by a guard every time I go into a bigger shop. If I have any bags from a previous shop I have to check them in with the guard before going into the store. Whatever I purchase from the current shop is sealed in bags at the cash register. On the way out I have to show another guard the bags and the receipt at the exit. I need to remember to go back to the entrance to pick up the bags from the previous shop as well.

-Several times lately I've nearly fallen over from beggar children throwing their arms around my waist.

-I did fall over on an escalator yesterday. The handrail was going at a faster speed than the steps and I was leaning too much on the handrail!

-I have to watch my step all of the time on the streets to avoid stepping in something unpleasant or stepping on someone sleeping on the sidewalk. It's kind of handy, however, because I need to be careful to not look men in the eye, but I also keep walking right past people I know.

-Lines/cues are non-existent. If I want to reach a cash register I must remain vigilant and not be afraid to confront people of all ages cutting in line ahead of me. (I'm talking a lot about shopping, huh! It feels like I AM always shopping just keeping our family of 6 fed since I can only take home what I can carry each time.)

-There are carts behind bicycles where men pull the most amazing loads for a few rupees. The other day we saw six men helping the bicyclist get a load of steel pipe up a hill. Steve is continuously fascinated by them and is considering a photo montage at some point!

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