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Showing posts from November, 2010

I Broke My Toe

Now, when Muffin leaves her toys laying around and we tell her she'd better pick them up before someone trips and kills themselves, we have evidence to back up the claim. Granted, she's too little to pick up her things so this accident was technically my fault and I didn't exactly kill myself, but the point is it could happen.

Shortly after Mike left for work this morning, I put Muffin in her bouncy seat and placed her in the bathroom while I took my shower. After the shower I took her out of the seat, placed her on the bed in our room, and proceeded to trip on the bouncy seat, jamming the metal bar of a leg in between two toes. I trip on things all the time and have probably broken several toes without even realizing it, so it took me a few minutes before I looked at my foot and realized something was wrong. The fourth toe, the one next to the pinky toe, was sideways. This was more than a stubbed toe; I needed professional help.

I called Mike, who was with our neighbor an…

Mr. Toad's Acceptable Mode of Transportation

Tuk-tuks are fun.

That's what I learned this week.

We have a driver but no car yet. We discovered that regular taxis are difficult to procure and can be inconvenient. But little yellow auto-rickshaws, or autos, which are also called tuk-tuks in some places, litter the streets here and are a cheap, fast transportation option. When we need a ride someplace that's just a little too far to walk, Mike sticks out his arm and like magic an auto pulls up to whisk us away.

I'm sure I'm not the first American to say something along the lines of, "It's like Mr. Toad's Wild Ride." But I can't help it. Riding in one is sort of like being on an amusement park ride. You're encased in a little bubble and you're holding on tight to the railing in front of you. You're concentrating on keeping your hands and feet inside the auto while you zoom through traffic in straight lines, then slow down to a crawl to go around corners without tipping over. There…

Thankful for the Little Things

My Facebook status this morning:

I should be taking a shower, or baking cookies for tonight's dinner, or wrapping presents to mail home, but instead I've gone for a run and I'm enjoying a quiet cup of coffee, being thankful that Sophie sleeps in later than I do.
Happy Thanksgiving!

I Hate the Sound of Squeaking in the Night

If Muffin hadn't woken up hungry at three in the morning, I may have slept through all the noise. But she fell asleep unusually early so I wasn't surprised that she needed a mid-night snack.

I brought her into our bed and was feeding her when I heard a crash followed by squeaking and then another crash. "No!!!!!" I silently screamed. Our neighbors had a rat in their kitchen a few weeks ago and I knew it was only a matter of time before a rat found its way into ours. I grew up in old houses in the country, so I'm used to mice getting in the house. I'm also used to having many cats to help keep the mice away. But rats are a different story. Rats are big, dirty, city monsters. And we don't even have one cat with us right now; even if she were here, I'm not sure I'd want her tangling with a dirty city rat.

The noise stopped as suddenly as it started, so I didn't wake up Mike. Until I heard it again. I poked at him until he got up. As I was doing t…

Boys Wear Pink

It doesn't bother me too much that people assume Muffin is a boy. Not knowing before she was born if she would be a boy or girl, I bought lots of gender-neutral clothing that ends up looking like boy's clothing if it's not paired with something pink or ruffly. I don't mind pink, but I'm not much of a ruffly girl myself, so Muffin is dressed as a little tomboy most of the time. She's a baby. She looks like a baby. I don't mind if you ask if she's a boy or girl because you can't tell from her clothing. At her age it's impossible to tell without clothing clues.

Here in India, people have been walking up and asking if she's a little boy. I assumed it was because boys are traditionally more celebrated than girls* so the natural tendency was to assume all babies are boys. I stepped up the pink clothing to nudge people along into thinking she's a girl. People went from asking "Boy or girl?" to asking "Boy?" and I'd get l…

Some Shopping, etc.

Pay no attention to the electric hot water heater plugged in below the shower head.
Actually, I can't complain too much about this place. For one thing, it's temporary. Hopefully in two or three weeks we'll be in our permanent house. And despite my fear that the electricity and water will mix in a number of ways--the hot water heater in the shower, the washer and dryer being in a semi-enclosed outdoor cubby, the way the power goes out when it rains--I'm able to thank my lucky stars that we have a good place to live.

Yesterday our driver took Muffin and me to Hyper City, a Target-like store on the outskirts of the main part of the city. We had to drive through some depressing neighborhoods to get there. The cows were living in cement bunkers while the people were living in shacks of corrugated metal with tarps for roofs. Both cows and people were sifting through garbage for food. As depressing as it was, I wasn't hit with the crushing sense I was expecting. Everyone…

All I need is a nap under a cool fan

I never thought I'd miss the sound of the guards running across the yard to the generator when the electricity went out in Buj. Here, when the power goes out, the concierge busts into the apartment several times to throw switches all over the place. That's much less convenient at ten o'clock at night than waiting for guards to get the generator going.

I know that both in Buj and here we are fortunate enough to have generators that work most of the time. I'm trying to be thankful for what we have. But I'm cranky this morning. The power went out last night just as they were revealing who was going home on Master Chef Australia, one of the few non-Indian tv shows here. It would have been the perfect time to go to sleep, except the concierge kept coming in and out and when the power came back on in the rest of apartment, it stayed off in the bedroom, so the concierge kept coming in and out of that room in particular to flip switches. Eventually the power was back on, w…

First Impressions of Hyderabad

It's not the poverty-stricken India you see in movies, but you can tell the poverty is nearby, just under the surface. It's a big city, so quite a change from Bujumbura, but more orderly and clean than I expected. The traffic sounds aren't bothering me as much as I thought they might, even though they are pretty constant throughout the day and night.

We saw a cow in the road actually crossing at a crosswalk.

The signs are not succinct. I saw the familiar "Children at Play" image, but accompanied by the text, "Stop and Kindly Look, Then Proceed."

I'm totally confused by the twisty roads and by driving on the left-hand side. I'll be making good use of our driver.

Indians aren't afraid to show affection for any baby they see. Muffin's cheeks have been pinched by more strangers in the last few days than the entire previous three months of her life.

The red meat is lamb and sometimes goat.

The papayas are better here than in Bujumbura. It'…

We arrive and the celebrating commences

It was really nice of Hyderabad to have these all-night-long fireworks displays in honor of our arrival. Oh, no, that's not really all for us. We arrived during the Diwali festivial, which is apparently celebrated with quiet family dinners followed by several hours of fireworks from every rooftop in the city. It's actually kind of pretty and would be fun if I weren't so tired from traveling. The Muffin is the only one sleeping through the night, miraculously. (The Diwali decorations are like tacky Christmas decorations so I want to go to one of the bazaars and buy some since I doubt our Christmas decorations will arrive in time.)

We arrived in Delhi late Thursday night and spent all day Friday sleeping in our hotel before our flight to Hyderabad. Because of the holiday, few people were traveling on Friday and most of the H'bad flights were cancelled, ours included. Luckily they kept one going, with all of about ten people on it, which we were able to get on. We really …