Saturday, 14 April 2007

Unformed Thoughts

We're seeing people with next to nothing, living in tiny rooms, businesses that are little more than a stall, perhaps they are selling mouth freshener or have a grinder and fix things, families all together, washing in the river or a pump on the corner of the road. We have so much - the space and luxuries that we take totally forgranted. Bathrooms, fresh water, hot water, a whole house to ourselves, more food than we can eat, in fact waste food.

There are some things that are hard to get used to. Like... Every question answered is worth a few rupees. Every helpful gesture is tippable. Looking after shoes at the temple is worth 5 rupees, 1 day tip for driver 120. Like... Every price is negotiable. Shopping is fraught with pressure. We tire of bargaining quite quickly and instead prefer not to go into shops. Its difficult largely because we aren't sure whats acceptable or what costs are (as yet).

Children tug at my sister's heartstrings. There are children younger than her eldest (who is 4 and a half) looking after babies. They are ages at which British kids are toddling round and learning to speak. Can't imagine my neice having to look after her brother - keep him safe, feed him. I think they would be in grave danger. Here its different.

Trendy young Indian men wear high cut jeans tigher at the top and flared at the bottom with skinny fitting shirts - similar to 70s man. I've grown so used to men with low slung trousers, hipsters or positively hanging off that wearing trousers high seems strange.

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