There is now another woman staying at the apartment who just started with the company. She’s moving here from Bangalore. Now I have Rickshaw support! We make a good team. I know exactly where we need to go, and she can actually tell this to the Rickshaw driver. Note to self: Learn some Hindi next time. At least a few words. Unless when going to Bangalore, apparently around there most people speak English, too.
Yesterday morning started out a bit… chaotic. Calamity Jen, as always. You’ll laugh and/or shake your head when you hear this. My brand-new round hairbrush got stuck in my hair so badly that it took me 20 minutes of careful teasing of each tiny strand of hair, which somehow had turned into a nest of dreadlocky, felted hair by the mere turning of a hair brush, to untangle it. In between I honestly thought I’d have to cut the strand off. I did manage though, finally, and took a picture of the result, which you might find hilarious. I felt even more grumpy than I look on that photo. Funnily enough, it was combed out easily after that. The hair brush is now in the trash can. I had bought it in Heathrow (damn you, Boots!) on the stopover to Mumbai and yeah, the bristles do kind of resemble velcro.
The way to the office was pretty uneventful, especially now that I had my rickshaw support. Work was ok if not as productive as I my German nature wanted it to be – fixing lots of problems with my setup and making some progress, but things still don’t work as they should. Lunch was pretty spicy Dal (lentils) which we shared among 3 ladies with lots of tasty rice. I had been wondering what to do with the tiny lemons and onions that get delivered with every meal (and to be honest, too worried about my stomach to eat them). They told me that you simply squeeze the lemon juice into your curry or what it is you’re eating and yum, I’m a fan. I also dared to have some lassi as the food was quite spicy. Tasty!
After work, we went home and after a bit of rest ventured out again. We walked to Pantaloons, a popular fashion chain that sells both Western and ethnic clothing. I wanted to buy at least one Indian suit (for blending in…well, as much as possible… in Mumbai) and found a very nice one, plus a lovely bright blue tunic. It really was helpful to have an Indian with me, if simply for psychological comfort, but also for one or the other translation issue.
After that we decided to have dinner, and my companion suggested Domino’s, which was almost around the corner. We stuffed our faces with pizza and garlic bread, and you’ll probably find this hilarious – this is actually what I think gave my stomach problems, finally. Minor ones, maybe a 2 on a scale of 1-5, but yeah. Greasy pizza caused a LOT more harm than any Indian dish. Or maybe it was the lassi, but I really don’t think so.
By the time we got home it was fairly late, around 10.30 (dinner time is around 9 here) and I was pretty exhausted. Right before I went to bed a mosquito decided it should attack me. I tried to kill it a few times but then figured I’d simply switch on the electric mosquito-repellent dispenser attached to one of the outlets in the room, and wait to see if it helped. It did! 30 minutes and the mosquito was nowhere to be seen. No bite throughout the night. I win.
The “entertainment” through the American neighbor has been replaced by a loud Italian, who constantly skypes in English with the funniest Italian accent. If he isn’t skyping, complaining on the phone about the fact that internet isn’t working so he can skype. Every hour or so, he dashes down the stairs (this is when I notice the internet has stopped working), restarts the router, dashes back up again with an Italian curse (“mother of shit” was the last one, I believe). A few minutes later, business skyping resumes. Hoooboy.
Today was fairly uneventful. We had lunch at a place that sounded much better than it was (great marketing texts in the menu, I have to say). It sold European style sandwiches and, yeah, I guess to me even the worst Indian food tastes great, and that was the equivalent My digestive system has decided to hate me. I am now up to a 3 out of 5 but it’s still tolerable. Hopefully that will build up some kind of tolerance so that future trips will leave me a bit more resistant, who knows. No more Domino’s for me though. Work was as frustrating as yesterday, not much progress, but my awesome Excel-to-Powerpoint automation is pretty much done, so at least that was good. I have also finally figured out why my room wasn’t being cleaned. I asked for a key, thinking that was normal. It’s not! You’re supposed to leave the room unlocked because otherwise the guy can’t come in to clean. So I had a little faith, left everything unlocked, et voilà… clean room. I also asked him to do some laundry and my clothes are sparkly clean and perfectly ironed. I could get used to this.
I think tomorrow I’ll go and discover around SGS mall and the two streets around there a bit, and on Sunday maybe look at a few historical sights, Aga Khan palace and so on. Let’s see how my stomach fares but I’m simply hoping it will accept my apology and gracefully return to normal function. If not… oh well. I can always browse the web like a pro.
- Domino’s in India
- Leaving my room unlocked
- Shopping for salwar kameez
- Lassi & lemon
- Chasing my pet mosquito until I could personally see it DIE, DIE, DIE!
- Further use of the damned velcro brush