The missing posts

Mammallapuram #4 part II

I stop into a beachside place for a cup of tea. While waiting for it to arrive, the waiter stands there with his hands down the front of his pants – I mean REALLY down there, elbow deep. I stare openly, pointedly, and he sees me looking.
What is he doing in there?
Rearranging the furniture?
Checking his bank account?
I don’t know WHAT he is doing. But I don’t touch the chai he brings me and he just can’t figure it out. His puzzlement knows no bounds and is touchingly dramatic – “Chai??? Madame???” he asks me as I am leaving, and he gestures helplessly towards my untouched glass with tears in his eyes.
Perhaps if he applies his hand to scratch his head, brain function will kick in and make the connection. But this application does not occur to him, and I make a mental note to never step foot in the place again.

In India, as in America, you never really know what goes on in a restaurant behind the scenes (and I have worked in plenty of restaurants), but if what is visible to the public isn’t promising, trust me, you don’t want to know what is going on in the kitchen.

Mammallapuram #1,  Part II

took the overnight train to chennai last night, but have surprisingly landed myself in mammallapuram (long story)

my knees don’t really squat well anymore since cipro poisoning, but i decided to use the squat toilet in the train because it was ever so much cleaner than the western toilet, and it had a grab bar. what could go wrong? i thought.

WELL… if you don’t squat completely (if you’re a girl) it is difficult to AIM so i got some where it was supposed to go, and some down my right pant leg and right sandal. i washed up as well as i could with lots of water, but then i had an even bigger wet spot on my pants leg and i had to fluff-dry out in the open between train cars because i didn’t want to tumble off the train in chennai and have banyan meet their newest volunteer only to discover that her most salient feature upon arrival is that she peed on herself.

i think i handled it quite smoothly, don’t you?

anyway, my next project (besides the cataloging project) is to strip off all the clothes and PRACTICE this squatting skill until i can do it in the lurching train, yes i can do it in the car, yes i can do in the bar, yes i can do it anywhere,  sam i am!!

Hyderabad #3,  Part II

indian glossary.

i am just coming = i will be right back

rowdy = hoodlum

yes = 1. i don’t know; 2. i don’t speak english; 3. i speak english, but i don’t know WTF you are talking about; 4. sometimes it means yes

the meter is broken = i’m going to quote you a 400% markup on this rickshaw ride and see if you actually know enough to bargain it down to the real price

i’ll use the meter = even though your actual destination is only a few blocks away, i’ll ride your ass all the way to the little rann of kutch and back and i’ll run that meter until it smokes oh baby!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *