Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Flash dance

First day of actual school comes around and my mom cooked a feast of a breakfast with the help of the two serving girls. I expected the family to have domestic help since well everyone does in India, especially since hierarchy is such a respected system. However, I still feel really uncomfortable since they are both short females who have obviously been stunted from malnourishment. Because of this, I can’t quite tell how old they are, but they cannot be any older than 17. They both live in a cement square type thing and one of them has three children about the ages of 4, 5 and 9. They are almost always dirty and every time I see them, they stop what they’re doing and just stare, mouths wide open. I want to play with them and learn Hindi with them, but it would seriously embarrass my family. I’m not supposed to talk them really, but we leave for school at the same time. Awkward and sad. A couple girls and I decide to walk to get some necessities and make our way through the crazy streets. Indian traffic is hard to picture, but it would help to say that lane lines are jokes and even lines between directions of traffic are mere suggestions. Horns are not used sparingly to say you’re mad or don’t hit me. They are used to announce your presence every time you change positions in traffic, and without lane lines, that’s about every minute or so. It also means get out of my way and I’m bored. What we’d consider a near accident in terms of being close to other vehicles is just the way you make a turn at an intersection. So we’re walking on the non-existent sidewalk next to this traffic and attracting a whole bunch of attention. We’re white and young girls, so everyone assumes we have loose morals and dubious intentions. Motorcyclists turn almost completely around while driving just to stare. One man passed us and whistled, and then scurried up ahead. 50 yards in front of us, he turns to a wall on sidewalk and starts to make it look like he is peeing. Then he stands in full on piss position and turns to stare at us. I wanted to vomit.

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