Monday, December 15, 2008

Learning Hindi

Dear ones,

I mentioned in the last post that I had made a friend who adores me dearly and wants to take me to Kashmir, give me the contents of his heart, and also his shop. Honestly, it is getting very embarrassing because I never accept freebies, I always pay my way, I hate to be indebted. But to not accept a gift (or multple gifts as the case is here) is offensive to this Indian shop keeper. "Why you keep offering me money?" he says. "Because that is the Australian way," says I. When I say Indian shopkeeper, don't think the greasy old type on the streets of Mumbai., ths fellow is 30-something, clean, well spoken, has great English ... and is in love with life ... and me, it seems.

Bob is keeping a close tab on this guy's motivations and is becoming a little pissed off. Fair enough. I am doing business deals. The stuff he has that I can sell in Australia at half the going Aussie rate is fantastic. I have a good nose for business. That said, I have insisted on doing business, and I have insisted on paying for the items he has thrust my way (believe me, I will update you all with the list of goodies when I return and let you know how much I managed to pay for ... and paying is my intention.)

Tonight has been very enlightening. My new best friend shopkeeper (Ahmet) and his cousin and his cousin's cousin have been teaching me to speak Hindi. They have been in a cascade of tears hearing me call them bastards, prostitutes and .... well, I have the full list of offensive language which I will not post on forum or here. I have also learned many nicer words .... thank you, friend, pretty ... which I will share with you later. Of course, I will tell Jojo how to say "I am happy to meet you," in Hindi, but what she says may well mean something entirely different.

Tomorrow is our final day in Mumbai. Ouch. We will so miss this place and its people. Our plane departs 4am Tuesday Mumbai time. Ugh, that horrid airport. We arrive in Dubai around 6am Dubai time and leave four hours later. We arrive Perth 2am Wednesday morning. Yay - we get our doggy as soon as we are capable of driving to the pet spa. I do so miss her, though Bob found a new labrador doggy on the beach in Mumbai to play with. I have taken pics of his new doggy friends and Bob will feel forever guilty for travelling OS and having new friendships with foreign doggies.

Today we went on a tour with Agit. We saw the open laundry (NO ... the hotel and hospital linen are not cleaned there). We went to the Gateway of India, the Taj Palace and had lunch at cafe Leopolds. Bob and I were seated at the "death table" ... the only vacant table. I guess no-one wanted to sit there. It was the table that took the first hiot of fire and the people dining there all died, as did the waiters serving them. Bullet holes have ripped through the walls and ceilings, but the owner has covered the holes up with signs and pictures. Of course, Agit ... and those of you who know Agit will not be surprised at this ... insisted that a waiter slide across a picture so we could take a pic of a bullet hole. macabre, I know. Will post the pic when we get home. I am so glad to see the place up and running and functioning. While there is no fear amongst staff and guests, there is a pall of respectful sobriety over what I imagine was once of a very jovial place. People are still bringing in bouquets of flowers, and there is a donation box on the counter for the families of those staff members killed. We took pics of the Taj as well. I got a few shots of the damage, but nothing anyone hasn't already seen on TV. Apparently there are 3000 tradies working around the clock to get the place up and running by Dec 22. That's Mumbai ... super fast.

To tomorrow. We will be having lunch with the docs after Dr Y does a transfer at Lilivati. We were privileged to be at Lilivati for the transfer of a couple from the forum. How amazing. She cried. I cried. Dr S cried ... and that was all in the cafe! Dr S is such a sook!!! Bob decided there and then .... there is no bloddy way on earth we are missing our transfer in Feb. So .... our great news (for us) is that we have confirmed dates from the ED agency in SA. They are 15-28 February. Okay, two months later than we planned for and hoped for. But that's okay. Bob and I have chosen an Indian ED who has been secured for us incase the SA EDs can't fly for whatever reason. We are not waiting past February. After being in India, we now both actually want an Indian ED and wonder why we went to such lengths and expense of finding a caucasian ED. While we love our SA ED, and think she is the right person for us, we cannot wait forever, the time is clicking by and we both feel the clock ticking ... even if it is not a biological one for either of us.

At this stage we have no idea how we are going to get so much time off for Bob. He will have to work through a week's holiday with his son in January, and also semester break in April, so that we can come to Mumbai for a week in February. I have put uni on hold yet again. I basically have the choice of kids or uni ... and guess which wins hands down. I don't know if Bob can get time off mid-pregnancy to come for the 20 week scan ... I can, but hate travelling without Bob. And then there will be at least a month at the end of the year when we come for our children ... or more ... as we would love to be here well before Chaya gives birth. But hey, we're not even pregnant yet ... yet ... that still seems so far off, and is not yet a reality for us. I guess it never is real until one gets that firts beta, then the second, then the scan ... then then passes the milestones.

In the words of a dear friend from Melbourne: Whay could I have not just gotten pissed and woken up pregnant.



Anonymous said...


what happened to staying safe in the hotel??? I knew you wouldn´t bear being stuck in your hotel room missing on all the fun. Love reading about your adventures in Mumbai and your new admirer.You have to teach us some Hindi words- the nice ones so we don´t scare our wonderful surrogates away.

And I am sooo happy to hear about your dates in Febr! Hopefully, it will work out great this time. I am cycling around the same time, just a little up north. Have a SAVE trip back home and post some of the pics


jojo said...

Hooray! We're going to India together. Hooray, hooray, hooray!

I have missed you. :)

Skype me when you get back. I will have just started my summer holidays. oohh yeah.


Anonymous said...

so amani is walking down the street getting harassed by taxi drivers and yelling out her best swears - turns out they were all wrong and meant something like "your teddy bear is smoking astroturf"

(dis)enchanted said...

what a blessed trip! can't wait to see the photos...and hear more of the stories. february isn't so far away, really...i'm glad things went well for you both..really, why wouldn't it have?? <3

Carrie Jo said...


I am so glad that you are loving Mumbai...and am sorry that you didn't like the Emerald...but I did warn you that Shawn and I aren't picky!

It's great to hear about your adbentures. I will be praying that all goes smoothly into Feb. We all want to hear that you are expecting...and I hope that maybe I can take a few pics of your preggo surro when we go over to pick up our little one(s).

Love ya!

Jackie said...

So glad you are having a good time!

Can't wait to hear more of your adventure!

Wish you were stopping over in Dubai longer than 4 hours.....

Jackie xxx

Tigerlilycat said...

Warning, warning - Aussie invasion in Mumbai come February! Looks like four couples will be there cycling, plus us holidaying. This is going to be SO much fun. Anyone else want to come to Agra Am and Jojo??