Sunday, December 14, 2008

India is awesome!

I finally made it to the computer. There is so much to tell, and so little time to tell it. Just put it this way: Bob and I arrived in India and hit the ground running. We've totally immersed ourselves in Indian culture. I am now wearing salwar kameez, and neither of us remember what Western food tastes like. I can't get Bob into Indian dress, but am trying. He's such a bloke, he won't wear a dress over pants.

Security here is tight. Every hotel, no matter how scummy, has security outside. We stayed at The Emerald (Best Western) for the first three nights. What a dive. Yes, the rooms are clean, but the bathroom small, bedroom just fits a bed and our minibar wasn't working, so it was hot Fosters beer for Bob.

Tuesday, while still jet lagged and in major culture shock, the docs grabbed us and whisked us up to their office to meet our surrogate and sign contracts. The SI staff - all of them - are amazing people. There was ever a question in my mind about their motivation for going into surrogacy as a business, and meeting them proves how emotionally committed they are to their surrgates and their IPs. They are trying to hire new staff but have yet to find anyone who has the same heart and motivation as them. I think they are looking for a clone of Dr S ... but know they won't find one, Dr S is irreplaceable.

You may recall my terror at meeting our surrogate. I was afraid i would burst into tears and run away or say or do something stupid, or that it would be awkward and horrible. Our meeting was none of that. Our surrogate. Chaya, like all the surro women, is shy, but she giggled the whole time. Her husband Staish is hilarious. He insisted on being in all the photos, so we have lots of pics of them, and their little boy, who is seven, and just so cute. Satish is a real estate agent (I think he sells slums, most of the real estate here is slum-like or close to it). He speaks some English so we were able to communicate quite well. He kept hugging me, and Bob, while Chaya sat quietly watching we non-shy-ones carry on.

Because I'm not cycling and didn't have the hormones in me like most of the IMs, I didn't burst into tears, howqever, I did tear up at first meeting Chaya. It is a wow! experience meeting the woman who is going to carry your child/ren. I have no doubt about her ability to do so, nor her commitment to SI and to us. She most certainly has not been dragged off the streets and forced to do this against her will. I also feel no sense of exploitation ... she is so similar to the American surrogates in that she is upset we cannot have children ourselves, and she wants tohelp. Of course, she is getting paid, and that is her primary motivation, but why not? She has an ability I don't have, and is willing to use that ability to help us create the most desired and gorgeous gift - our children.

We've been sight-seeing with Ajit. Hiring Ajit is a must. He is an absolute hoot. Wait til you all see the pics I have of him. you can make him do just about anything. I'm typing really fast because he is on his way to take us to a bazar and down to Colaba so I can take pics of bullet holes in the walls of Leopold Cafe. I think we're going to Elephanta Island as well.

We've been staying at the Sun and Sand hotel for the past three nights. It is beautiful, right on the beach. We've been fortunate enough to emjoy a wedding every night. Yesterday we gatecrashed a wedding party outside the hotel. The guests were all singing and dancing and making a tremendous ruckus to a drum and brass band. The women asked me to join them to dance ... so i did. Big fat and farty whitey Amani in her size ten running shoes in amngst the beatiufl shiny women in saris. I so DON'T want to see those pics.

Bob was hauled into the melee to dance, very much against his will. He saw me in the crowd and made a beeline for me. The head of the band/leader of the dancing scowled and sent him out. Boys do not dance with girls. Yet another faux pas by the overfed Westerners, the other being chucked out of a tuk-tuk a few nights before.

Must go now. My next post will be about Amir my new best friend at the hotel, who wants to take me to his home in Kashmir. Not bloody likely. Put it this way, his shop is outside the lifts and we have to spy around the corner each time to go to our room to avoid him otherwise I get stuck in his shop being adored until Bob saves me. I think he now has a thing for Bob too, who is his "Dear Brother!". Bob's a bit uncomfortable with his belly pats.


Tigerlilycat said...

Finally, the update!!! Knew you guys would have a ball... So what did you guys do to get kicked out of the auto rickshaw??

Anonymous said...

Yes, finally some news from you, Am! I couldn´t wait for your impression of India. Glad to hear you are having a wonderful time.
I am dying too to hear what happened in that rickshaw!?!

Jaymee said...

Glad to hear all is well. I was starting to worry.

Amani said...

Ah - the rickshaw. We wanted to go 20 feet. Had no idea how far the hotel was. We decided to walk down Juhu Tara Rd after dinner with the docs and a few IPs ... then got tired. The hotel was around the corner and the driver refused to drive. I offered him 50 rups, but he didn't understand emgllish. So he sat on his horn and revved his 50CC engine and yelled some kind of profanity at us ... we got out.

Mike and Mike said...

That's it? You got kicked out due to a minor misunderstanding? Well shoot, that's just plain boring. Here we were expecting a big story of international intrigue! lol.

Mike A.

Anonymous said...

if we told the truth (ie trying to conceive a baby in the back of the rickshaw) the doctors would ban us from their program!