Heading south out of Bangalore, I already miss our clean, quiet and cool temporary home. But we didn't come all the way over here to veg out, eat dosas and play dominoes and cribbage for hours on end. Although that does sound pretty fantastic.
In the meantime, it's fun watching Seth adjust to India and compare it with his four month trek through China, Vietnam, Thailand and Cambodia. The traffic, people, food, smells, each is daunting in it's own way. It reminds me of the process I went through in adjusting here, getting used to making deals and handling communications, etc. When negotiating a price for a rickshaw the other day, the dude told us 250 rupees for 3 of us. I knew this was a BS price, so I threw up my hands and made a bunch of racket, "insulted" to be affronted with such a silly proposition. The price bumped down to 150, and I jumped up and down and walked away. Boom, seconds later it was down to 100 and off we went, and everybody was happy.
Now: WHY do we not just use the meter installed on the machine and cut the hysterics and game playing? Because that's not how it works here.
Takes you a while to get used to. As the three of us walk around, I find that we are constantly pondering why things aren't the way they are at home and why nothing works and what people here should change and the like. A pattern forms and soon we are shadowing the colonists of the past, moving in and making things to our liking. Guilty. But isn't everybody like that? You like what you like, and you probably like where you come from and the norms that exist there.
Needless to say, when we see cut green grass, no trash, no burning of trash, orderly traffic and general organization, we flip out. But, again, that's not how it works here. Thus, travel; the reason we plunk around to different places, to learn about their differences and greater inform yourself and those you know. Also, to laugh at the Engrish, which is consistently hilarious.
Countdown to the Andamans: 5 days. Mmmmmmm.