Wednesday, March 03, 2010

At Usha's

We’ve safely arrived at Usha’s lovely place in Jalna, outside Aurangabad, which is 230 miles east of Mumbai (old Bombay). The house is light and airy and reminds me just a little of my family’s house in Caracas, Venezuela, where I lived in 1975/76 during 6th grade.

The house is within Mahyco’s (her company's) complex, where about 30 families live. It’s great being here – comfortable and relaxing. There are even pictures on the wall of people we know:

We met Aashish, Usha’s nephew and Ben and Brian’s cousin, who is staying at Usha's for a few days. He heroically tried to get an internet connection going for me, but we weren’t able to get it to work. So, I'm now typing this in Aashish's office, because he got me set up here.  Anyone who provides me internet access is automatically one of my favorite people, so Aashish is now one of my favorite people.  Here he is hard at work bringing in the big bucks for Mahyco:

We also met Usha’s dogs, Sandy, Molly and Moti.  Sandy and Molly are, how shall we say? Plump is probably the best word. They look a little like sheep.  Aashish had one of the funniest lines of the trip: “Yeah, they are basically meat for other dogs if they get out of the compound.” Yet another reason to like Aashish.

But they are friendly and gentle, so let's hope they never escape the compound.

Another good line:  We were offered what was described as a “lime drink” on the airplane yesterday. Mmm, we love lime drinks, we all thought, and also we are thirsty. After a sip, we all almost gagged – it was as salty as sea water. “It tastes like barium you would drink before a colonoscopy” noted Martha. Foreigners have about the same reaction to root beer in the states, so I guess we’ll call it even.

And another line I heard this morning from Cindy in response to something Thom said “Well, I’ve been called worse things than ‘strong.’” We didn’t pursue what worse things Cindy has been called.

Yesterday was a travel day, and we flew from Jodpur to Mumbai, and then onto Aurangabad. We go back to Mumbai on Friday for one night. No interesting food stories to report. We are all recovering from queasy tummies and are taking it very easy in the food department. For breakfast at Usha’s we had eggs, oatmeal, fresh sweet lime juice, fresh orange juice, and cut papaya and melon. It was perfect recovery food.

In Johdpur, we stopped off at the house of the mom of a friend of a Usha’s sister (I think I got that right). They had never met, but we were all treated as old lifelong friends.

Here’s the Consummate Hostess Usha, serving us soft drinks:

Here’s Usha’s sister’s friend’s mom:

Here’s a picture of Usha’s sister’s friend’s family's pictures:

It is noteworthy for the picture on the right bottom, which you might have to expand to see. Someone in their family apparently knows Barack Obama better than any of us do. We were impressed.

Finally, it must be noted that Cindy thinks she may have broken her big toe in a bathroom misstepping incident. Or, it might just be really bruised.  Given that this can happen anywhere to Cindy (such as trips to the local library or just walking down the street), we should at least be grateful that this trip has so far seen fewer bruises per mile than is normal for her. I should admit that I kept tripping on things at the beginning of the trip, so I'm grateful that when it came time for someone to break something, she took one for team.
I took a picture of the toe, but it would be uncivilized to post it here, so I’ll just show a picture of her lounging at Usha’s. So far, it hasn't slowed her down much, I guess because she is so strong.


Hilary said...

Oh no! Leave it to my mom to break a toe on the once-in-a-lifetime trip to India! Tell her I hope she feels better soon!

Trish said...

Sorry to hear about Cindy's toe. Just glad it didn't happen at the beginning of the trip.