Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Laundry day

My talent for remaining distant and aloof came in handy on the trip, navigating the sea of beggars and hockers selling their wares. But in Khajuraho, I failed! These hockers were hilarious. They called me on the fact that I was youngest in my group and therefore must have been the group leader; and not responding to them (unlike the people in the group) only reinforced their suspicions. I couldn't help but crack a smile as they summed up the situation, which only made things worse. As bad as these guys were, the only stressful time with the group was while we were in Varanasi. It was crazy-crowded and the hockers and beggars were crazy-aggressive, grabbing at us.

As part of the trip, we visited 3 schools. The public school rooms were just depressing. No chairs or desks, mystery liquid pooling on the floor, flies. The school was half-empty this day, as it was innoculation day, causing half the children to flee (or so we were told). I spoke with this quartet of little boys about their school and what they were learning. When it was time for us to go, the quartet leaped up to their feet and "namaste"d us on our way. It was really cute.

The final image is of a fellow doing laundry. I observed most women in India dressed traditional "Indian" but most men seemed to dress quite "western." Rarely, we saw men dressed traditionally "Indian," and this fellow was one. His wrap was kind of droopy, and one could see his underwear band.

As for my laundry, I was washing my socks, undies, and T-shirts in the hotel sink with some shampoo. I was so glad arriving home to take a super hot shower and put on machine-washed undies.

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