Tuesday, August 9, 2011


A lot of my friends are using Tumblr here for their blogs and they are really pretty. SO- I am changing mine over... I tried to move the posts, so please follow me here: http://graceinhyderabad.tumblr.com/

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

wicked witch

I just got off the phone with my mom. I had to let her know that all of the teachers at school may or may not believe she is the wicked witch of the west.

meet Sangeetha and Mercy.

sure. they look like nice enough people... every day (well, all two days I have had so far) these women and a handful of other women do their best to take care of me. upon my arrival a woman named Kamala, who only speaks Telugu, motions to her mouth to ask me if I have had breakfast. I bobble my head to assure her I am not starving. Then she brings me chai. 

Several other teachers will filter in to also inquire about my breakfast. I get another chai at some point. AND THEN... LUNCH.

I packed a glorious pb&j plus a delicious apple. Enjoyed their company, chatted about important things like where I should buy gold bangles... No sooner do I finish my last bite of pb&j, then piles of rice, chapati, goop of some kind, make their way in front of my face.

"No really, I am soooo full (make motion of a fat stomach)."

Still the food is pushed closer.

"Ohh, I cannot eat all of this."

Blank looks. And then looks are directed at the food.

Fine, I take some bites of everything before me. Yes, it is all really good. I am loving Indian food. I start getting all kinds of dinner invites. Turns out their one goal in life is to keep me fat and happy, much to my dismay. Turns out I can't eat Indian food every meal and sometimes I really do prefer the pb&j.

"When I cook for you, I will not make too spicy."
"My mother who lives 100km away makes the best food, you will have to come with me."
"We each so much food on Eid, I told my sister you are coming with me."

I eat a couple more bites of lemon rice... And finally apologize, saying I am sorry that I won't be able to finish all of this food. 

Some awkward looks. And then the idea hits me.

I tell them, "Well, this wedding in December I will be home for... My mother will be very upset if I come home fat." 

And then they seem to all understand, shaking their heads, thinking that my mom is probably very concerned about having an almost 25 year old fat and unmarried daughter. Although I doubt that puts a stop to any of this force feeding... I'll keep you posted as I watch the fit of my pants.    
Sorry to make you the bad guy, Mom. It's for a greater good, my waist.


today getting off the bus, this older gentlemen (not the neatest of dressers) moves past me. i glance down to notice a chicken...

instead of a good ole boy, insert shorter indian man in his 50s. carrying the chicken just as above, on the bus, off the bus, all around town. and no one even takes notice, except me, the american girl.

hyderabad feels like a regular (albeit indian) city... until you see stuff like that. and then you are reminded just how different this place is.

Like camels walking alongside buses.
Motorcycles honking at YOU because you are in their way on the SIDEWALK.
Being stalked by rickshaws for a good half mile- they are CONVINCED you will change your mind.
Having your photo taken by strange people.
Having mothers make you take pictures with their babies.
Strangers asking your marital status and religion, frequently.
Students asking for autographs.
Having to provide a passport picture to buy a cell phone.
Pizza Huts have security guards.

the list goes on a while... oy vey!

gotta love it.

About Me

working to understand how to use social enterprise to improve affordable private schools who serve the underprivileged youth