Thursday, July 26, 2012

Random Musings

Posted Sign:  "Parking for villagers only.  All other tires will be slashed." Straight to the point.  Love the directness.  This is not uncommon here.  

Took- took transportation is hilarious, terrifying, inexpensive, hot, breezy,  and efficient.  Also, four people do not fit inside one very well, which raises the do people manage to fit 8 into one of these?  I think took-tooks are made to seat maybe three people tops, yet somehow entire families will fit in.  Sitting on laps, sidebars, hanging out the side....whatever they need to do.        

Our bus assistant is adorable.  Every time we get a new bus, we get a new driver and a new assistant.  We have had the same bus since Jaipur and will stay in this one until the end of the trip -  meaning I get to crush on the assistant for another week. He is the sweetest thing ever.  Doesn't speak much English, and may or may not be seventeen years old, but he smiles and waves and namastes non-stop.  I really wish he spoke more English so we could chat about life and so he would be able to understand me when I told him that I am currently raising funds to fly him back to the U.S.
UPDATE: He left us yesterday :(.

Our actual bus is bumpy with TOURIST plastered across the front.  When the doors open, nine of us file out with massive canons/nikons hanging from our necks.  We definitely screamed tourist before, but now we are traveling in a bus that actually spells it out for everyone.  Fantastic.  

Truck "rest" stops seem to be like covered picnic areas lined with cots and attached restaurants. I don't know if these would actually be the equivalent of truck stops in the States but there were tons of trucks parked outside each one.  They also had little watering holes that many appeared to be bathing in.  They looked pretty dang comfortable.  The trucks themselves are awesome.  So colorful and decorative.  

Tourist rest stops:  overpriced handicrafts.  We have stopped at two separate places that are right off the highway, both selling extremely overpriced goods.  They did, however, have a pair of shoes I want (and might go back to get).

The swaying of the head from left to right often means yes, no, and maybe.  Indians have a different way of "nodding".  We nod up and down to signal "yes" while they nod from right to left.  There was also a magnet that displayed this.  It was great.  I stare out the window (a lot) on the drives from city to city and love seeing all of the heads bobbing from side to side.  We practice every once in a while to see if we can do it, but it's never as fluid as we'd like.  

Beggars are persistent.  Case in point:  today we went to a local bazaar.  We finished a little sooner than expected so we stood on the street for about 5 minutes waiting for the bus (and adorable assistant). There were 3 or 4 little girls that asked us to buy their necklaces for 5 minutes straight even though we didn't say a word back.  They were still holding up the necklaces as the bus drove away.  I can't lie, it's hard to ignore them when they are so darn cute and just trying to make a living.  

Rural India is beautiful.  We have been driving from city to city recently and have had the opportunity to see more of rural India.  It is gorgeous.  Bright green fields with women working in stunning orange saris.  Rural India seems so peaceful.  As we drive on the highways through the more rural part of the country where many of those at the "bottom of the pyramid" reside, it's interesting to see how life here seems to change.  I look out of the windows to never-ending fields with these tiny dirt paths weaving their way around.  They appear to be "roads," but rather than cars, rickshaws and buses, there are just people walking.  Such a simple way of life, all the while incredibly working hard to bring money back to their families and provide a better life for their children.  Right-on!

Everyone here has perfect teeth.  I'm slightly OCD when it comes to teeth.  There is nothing better than a straight, white smile and EVERYONE here seems to have one.  I'm assuming they didn't all have braces, but a lot were definitely gifted with a pretty nice set of chompers.

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