Thankfully sara and i both have excellently fine tuned survival skills. This morning was hilarious. we just got shuffled into this catholic retreat center last night… we have NO idea where we are on a map, and the only way we know to get back to the OASIS office is to tell a rickshaw driver “saki naka”. Talk about traveling on trust!
NO ONE on the streets speaks english.. so we are quickly learning the key hindi words. “stop” “where is….” “bottled water”…. So this morning, thanks to jet lag, we woke up at 6 (the sun is down until about 7), took our lovely bucket shower, got dressed and headed out. It was POURING rain, and we walked and walked and no where is open for breakfast. The only open food places are vendors on the side of the streets that sell porridge, and men that walk around holding steel cans of chai. So we stopped and said the universal word “cafe” to a man, and he just pointed in the direction we were already walking… so we kept going. About 30 minutes in we finally found an open resturaunt where we picked something randomly on the menu (turned out to be some sort of spicy sandwich thing) and chai. We’re keeping a tally of how many chais’ we drink! We’re on day 3… and have already had 12! But, they’re cups are the size of your thumb, so in starbucks terms we’re probably only drinking a grande every day (its key to equate things into starbucks terms, right?).
I’m trying so hard to learn hindi, and my phrase book told me that asking for the bill is “kripyaa bill dijiye”. I have NO Idea how to pronounce that, so i pointed at it and asked the guy, “how do you say?” he got this huge smile and walked away laughing!!!! Then started telling all of the other waiters, and they looked at us and giggled. 🙂 We had a good laugh over that one, but i still dont’ know how to say it!! After breakfast we grabbed a rickshaw: I said “humey saki naka jane hai” which means “i want to go to saki naka”, and off we went. Now, we are in the OASIS office (oh, and i learned how to say water! paani!” Prayer is in 10 minutes, and I’ll spend today working on all the trainings that they need.
It feels like we’ve been here much longer than 3 days…