Wednesday, June 22

electricity, where you at?

Unfortunately, I've gotten myself into this habit of going to sleep around 8 or 9 p.m. and then waking up around 4 a.m. Last night, I was awakened by my own sweat which was producing at an astonishing rate. The power outages here are really something else. Like I said on one of my first days, the power and water went out all day, which is apparently uncommon. But today, we have had 11 power outages (for no longer than 45 minutes) in just 12 hours! Crazy!

But besides the power and the obvious culture shock, I think I am adjusting very well. Every day I'm learning something new. For example, yesterday when we went grocery shopping, Romi and I were looking for chai tea, we'd both heard it was amazing and were dying to try it. Hilda, one of the nuns, tried to explain something to us but we weren't really understanding, so we brushed it off. Today, Lilly told me we'd be going back into town to get me some new Indian duds (more trying to fit in/I have a creepy obsession with all things, clothes and jewelry mostly, Indian) and I asked if we could find some chai tea. She laughed and explained to me that the word, chai, MEANS tea in Hindi and that was what Hilda was trying to explain to us yesterday. Oh did I feel dumb, and a little confused, how am I supposed to try this tea if all teas are called chai? What is everyone talking about? Leave me a comment if you know of any other way to describe this so-called "chai tea."

The nuns are so funny, I think they're a little protective of me because they didn't want me riding into the city using "public transportation," aka the rickshaw... but I'm trying to fit in here. I'm not going to be that snobby American who only takes the Jeep they have here on site. No, the only real way to experience anything is to fully immerse yourself into it. So six nuns, myself and a driver all fit into this small, nuggety rickshaw and headed to town. "Downtown Nellore" is such a site to see! Cows sitting in between clothing shops, women asking to take pictures with me (WHAT?!)... it's all very interesting. While downtown, I smelled a scent that I hadn't smelled in a while: cigarettes. And then it dawned on me that I've seen absolutely no one smoking here! An interesting change from the U.S. and Madrid, the only two places I've ever lived long-ish term. Speaking of smelling, the things you smell on the street just blow my mind, or should I say nose. From incense to curry to body oder to urine to bad cologne... the list never ends!

But I guess I should cut to the chase. Today I made a few purchases, that I justified by telling myself "I need to fit in," but really India has the most beautiful things, things you'd pay so much for in the U.S. but are ridiculously cheap here (don't worry, I'm bringing back souvenirs for everyone)!

Incense, dress, bangles

Also! Finally I have some pictures of my "living quarters," which I'm hoping to spiff up soon with some curtains perhaps (okay... fabric hanging by the window) and maybe a rug. Extreme Makeover: India Edition, here I come!

Thanks for reading!

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