Thursday, June 08, 2006

Moho in a Mumu

Well, kids, I don't have the ability to post pictures quite yet. There's a really high-tech cyber cafe I may join where it will be pretty easy to upload pictures. We shall see.

Things are going really well. I found out I will be working as a teacher's aid for before-and-after school programs for six and seven year olds! Can you think of a better thing to spend you summer doing? I hope I get along with the teachers and everything. I'm usually much more afraid of adults than kids. Especially I'm afraid of other adults watching me interact with kids, because you're always at least moderately dorky with kids and it's EMBARRASSING. Ah well.

So. I've gotten more used to it here, I guess. I think I'm still a little bit too overwhelmed to write anything coherent. I think the air conditioning is affecting my brain. I was so happy my first two nights here with no AC. Ever since they moved us into the AC room, I've been groggy and snorky. And showers were so much more miraculous before the AC. I know pretty much no one would agree with me, but I kind of wish I were in one of the less deluxe rooms.

The girls I'm here with are really fun for the most part. There are all of these street markets that we've been frequenting and featured at many of these markets are tables of mumus. I desperately want one. Those of you who know me MUST know how cute I would look in a mumu. But my friends here will NOT hear of it. They have tried to explain to me that I have to be at least 55 to wear a mumu. But I WANT one. I'm going to sneak away one of these days and buy one and there is nothing that N and S can do about it (N is my roommate and S is the other girl I'm probably closest to here). N is a Nazarene and S is Hindu. I told them all about how my sister says I am a Moho since I am Mormon (Mo) and have kissed a lot of boys (Ho). So now N is a Nazho and S is a Hinho. I cracked up one day after one of N and S's mumu interventions because N said it might indeed be a little too sexy for me to have a mumu and that when I get one I will have to make one of THOSE movies called Moho in a Mumu.

Speaking of movies, I saw my first Bollywood movie yesterday. It was caled Fanaa (Crazy Love, the guys behind the YMCA desk told us) and was just about the cheesiest thing I've ever seen. But it was so fun and dramatic and beautiful. The tunes were very catchy. A lot of it took place up in the mountains of North India; I've got to get myself up there in August. Here is an interesting thing about the movies in India: they play the national anthem before hand with a movie of the Indian flag waving. So you stand up and watch the filmed flag and some people even sing along with the national anthem. It was lovely being at the movies with people dressed in saris and burkas. Especially concerning the burka-wearing women, it's a good reminder that they are people who enjoy things and go out. Things that should be obviously but unfortunately aren't. It's lovely to have communal things that bring such things to your attention. Long live the movies!

There are some beautiful things here in Mumbai. The architecture is for the most part astounding. I don't know enough about architecture to explain it, but it's a wild mix of British, Islamic, and Hindu, most of it in various stages of dilapidation. We went to a mosque, a Hindu temple, and a Jain temple yesterday. We had to take our shoes off in all of them, and the mosque and Jain temple both had marble floors with some carving in them. It is lovely to walk with bare feet across carved marble.

The most horrible things I've seen so far all involve babies. One day we were in Colaba, a really touristy area of South Bombay (I'm actually going to be working in Colaba), and there were some children sitting by the side of the road. The gutter at this particular part of the road was very wide with some cobbling that extended for a while until the road proper began. A baby was sitting with its back to the traffic right at the edge of this cobbling. A little girl was watching the baby, but it was so dangerously close. It made me queasy just looking at it.

Yesterday I took the train for the first time. Trains here are kind of fabulous because they have no doors and are thus very breezy. But there was this trio of children plus a baby and a little yellow chick sitting next to one of these open doorways. The oldest girl was sitting right next to the door holding the baby. If anything went wrong, it looked like they would just fall right out.

The worst thing happened when we were driving in a taxi on the highway. I think this is actually the worst thing I've seen in my entire life. The highway has a large shoulder where people live, and the shoulder is divided from the road by a picket fence. A baby was sitting halfway between the road side and the shoulder side of the fence holding onto the pickets. She was closer to the road than the shoulder. And a woman who must have been her mother was sleeping 15 or 20 feet away from her. The baby was seriously at most 2 feet away from the traffic. I wanted to jump out of the car and put her out of harm's way. The thing is I probably could have. Traffic was pretty bad and we weren't moving that fast. But how do you do such things? On the other hand, how do you not?


At June 09, 2006 5:59 PM, Blogger lily said...

Hey Moho!!!
I am with you friends about the Mumu. Think about that Simpsons episode where Homer wears a mumu-- have you seen it? It's awful!!! They are just all around not the right thing to wear, even if you are over fifty.
I do not understand the babies on the side of the roads. That is the strangest thing...I don't know what one could do about it.
I am so glad you get to work w/ kids... that is much funner than adults by far.
It's so good to hear about everything your doing.... one week down, how many to go??? I hope you have a fabulous time.
Love you!

At June 16, 2006 8:18 AM, Blogger see-k-tee said...

I disagree. If you return home without a mumu, I will be seriously, seriously disappointed.

At June 22, 2006 3:43 PM, Anonymous Jena said...

more, more, more! please, please, please!

At June 22, 2006 3:48 PM, Anonymous Jena said...

...that's jena from janklow...
funny story for u...last wknd, i went to a spa in sf to get a "waxing", and when i walked in and said my name, the pretty lady behind the counter said, "jena from janklow?" i looked at her and it was socorro (sp?)! how random and crazy! she lives here now (again) and works at this spa part time. i haven't seen her in 2.5 yrs - she looks completely different - and anyway, i thought of you, and thought i should tell you this story. love, jena from janklow

At July 11, 2006 8:50 PM, Anonymous HoJo said...

Hey La,
Joe and I just caught up on your blog. LOL! So happy you are safe, your family has been worried. What a grand adventure!
Have you considered a sari? I have always wanted one myself.
You might also consider a having a tailor whip something up for you.
I say buy the mumu and wear it around the apt, trash the bad pants and the bad days.
We love you and miss having you close. btw, what shape are your pupils these days?


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