Bombay Letter 8

April, 1998

Hi everyone,

We finally got on the Web at home, so hopefully we will be able to send more e-mail.  Today at lunch we learned the meaning of the term comfort food.  Our servant cooks for Saturday and Sunday evening on Saturday morning, then cleans the kitchen and leaves for the rest of the week-end.  She has a five year old daughter and a husband, so we are glad for her to spend time with them.  And frankly, it is also nice to be without her for awhile.  This morning, Anita fixed waffles (using the old waffle iron you bought before I was born, mom; never thought it would end up in Bombay, India, did you?), and we found, in one of the boxes we had shipped with all our things, a can of smoked sausage from Yoder’s Country Market in Grantsville (it was part of an edible Christmas present we got from friends there).  In the past, we would not have thought of eating canned meat with the fresh stuff readily available.  This morning, it tasted like ambrosia!  And speaking of ambrosia, Anita’s cousin,  a stewardess who works on a flight into Bombay once a month, brought us what seemed like THE MOTHER OF ALL CARE PACKAGES!  Highlights: cheese and bread she bought in Amsterdam on the flight here, Doritos from the US of A (they melted in our mouths), and a true treasure trove of candy (including real, live, Easter chocolates).  I have come to think that when one is feeling homesick, things like getting on the Web, canned sausage, and Doritos provide a dose of welcome comfort.

And far better than comfort food is visiting with a relative.  Her cousin is really great and a lot of fun to be with.  This time, I did not go out with them, since I stayed with Eric who has been sick, but on Friday, the ladies got a pedicure at the five star hotel where the flight crew is staying.  Then they went shopping, and came here for an authentic, elaborate Indian meal cooked by Patsy.  The next day they went to Chor (thieves) Bazaar, a well known and interesting shopping area with everything from hardware (used motors, pieces of metal you turn at home to make your own bits or whatever, piles and piles of tools, handles, wires, you get the idea) to antiques, furniture, old clocks, Victrolas, ship navigation stuff, compasses, and who knows what all.  Then they went to our jeweler.  It’s great having a relative come in once a month.  And she even hand-carries current bill payments back to the U.S. to drop in the mailbox for us.

Last week, the children and I went to see some famous Hollywood actors, dancers and singers practice for performances in the United Kingdom and the U.S.  It was fun and interesting.  Because a couple of the local employees from work know some of these people personally, we had connections.  We see Indian music videos on t.v., so it was exciting to see the same sorts of things live.  Indian music videos and popular music is tied closely with popular Hindi movies, all of which have songs and dances.  The style, a combination of rock, classical Indian, and a sort of naive innocence, is totally unique.  The dance moves and the beat are entertaining, unusual to our Western eyes, and sometimes a tad embarrassing.  What our culture is getting more overt about, the Indian culture approaches in a somewhat more covert or restrained way.  You see more skin and direct contact in the US, but you see more clothed yet effective suggestions here.  In fact for many, many years, actors could not even kiss on the screen!  In romantic scenes they put their lips within microns of each other, but never made contact.  Also, wet, clinging saris, typically from dancing in a rain storm, are a popular way to suggest sensuality!  A lot of the dancing is just fun, peppy, energetic.

This afternoon my daughter and I planted lettuce and herbs.  We brought our own seeds, potting soil, and window boxes.  We have a nice sunny ledge in the kitchen.  Hope to get a good crop.

About literarylee

I sling words for a living. Always have, always will. Some have been interesting and fun; most not. These days, I write the fun words early in the morning before the adults are up and make me eat my Cream of Wheat.
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