Sunday, January 27, 2008

Living on India Time

Three nights this week we have made plans to go out and visit the annual festival thingy here in Hyderabad. The plan was to be ready by sixish and we’ll go. So I dressed our little girl up, washed the thick layer of dirty pollution off of her, and was ready to go by sixish. Then seven came, then eight, by 8:30, Isabelle was out like a light. So much for that idea. By the end of the second night I was getting real tired of Indian time. But what can you do? When in Rome….

So I have devised some activities to distract myself and Isabelle while we are killing time waiting to leave/eat/sleep/whatever. The first line of defense is a walk around the neighborhood. I will start off by saying that the idea of walking to go nowhere is a complete foreign concept to most Indians and I have a difficult time getting anyone, including my husband to do this with me. The one exception to this is my daughter who will use any form of manipulation known to an 18 month old and go with virtually anyone to get out the front door of the house.

As we walk around, we stop and stare at stray dogs and stray water buffalo. We also stop and watch the neighborhood kids play cricket. I’ve even tried my hand at it…and it seems like all of those years of little league have paid off…I can bat like an old pro.

But what I’ve discovered is that whenever I step out of the door of the house, within five minutes, I have gathered a crowd. This morning there were about 20 little school girls gathered around us, taking kisses from Isabelle and saying in their little Indian English, “Nice baby, Auntie. Nice nice baby.” Isabelle took it for all of about ten seconds before going ballistic.

A few days ago I had a group of about 20 boys from the cricket field gathered around asking me questions in Telegu and English. We were having a nice conversation and I had a nearly insurmountable desire to start yelling, “Square off, square off, Pod up, Pod up.” And even started thinking of ways to bring in the net. (If this doesn’t make sense to you…it’s okay, you are certainly in the majority.) This was before my husband, who was playing cricket in the street with our nephews saw me and came running with a concerned look on his face. I told him no worries, I was used to drawing a crowd!


Anonymous said...

Did you ever make it to the festival? I remember exactly where that cricket field is - I saw is on my infamous "camel ride" around the neighborhood last year. You haven't posted a picture of Alana-I'll bet she's changed. Your spa day with the girls sounds fun. Your dad says Isabelle looks sad in her pictures - because she's missing him :-) Tell everyone Hi for me and I'd love to see them - makes me wish that your dad and I had gone with you. Did you get hold of Steeven and Dorothy? Love, Oma

Anonymous said...

I have decided that you will always draw a crowd. Is it a curse or a blessing? I have to say the Indian culture has to teach anyone patience, for those of us in the Western world who can't understand all that. We are always in too much of a hurry, I guess. I have to say I am missing seeing all of you; it seems ages. (I started to say Isabelle and thought better of it) Enjoy the rest of your time with the family. I love you all.
Aunt Brenda

Michelle said...

I completely agree with Aunt Brenda. You will always draw a crowd Danielle. It is just who you are, you're special like that. Have fun on the rest of your trip.

mcali1981 said...

Okay, I have to comment, only because I understand!!!! All of it actually. Stray dogs, stray water buffalos, me having to borrow your clothes (Oh, wait, that wasn't this trip was it? Ha ha), the drawing of the crowd and the definite meaning of, “Square off, square off, Pod up, Pod up.” And even started thinking of ways to bring in the net. were the days. <3