There is a saying that you will know when you are in India because something totally out of the ordinary or random will happen – something will happen that probably wouldn’t happen anywhere else.
So, I got off the plane after a pleasant 9.5 hour flight (err…) and looked out for
my driver Aravind who was there to pick me up.
This is when the first thing happened.
I was involved in a car accident.
Regular readers to my blog (and since Christmas, I discovered that it could be more than just myself and my Mum) would know that Indian driving is more like bumper cars than following strict rules. Dents within your car body work is shown off with pride. Broken arms obtained in a bike crash is something that seems to be aspired to.
So, we got in to the car, the engine was switched on and we reversed out of the parking space.
Into the mini bus that was parked behind us.
One of the great things about driving in India is that if you are involved in a crash, you don’t have to mess around with insurance details and stuff. Just bump in to people, apologise (maybe pay a small bribe if the police saw it) and carry on.
So, what next?
I got back to the apartment, went to switch on the A/C (it is 25 degrees here after all) and it made a big old grinding noise. I went outside to take a look and a pigeon had decided to build a nest in the A/C unit. Further investigation revealed that it wasn’t just a nest, it was going to become a family home with two little eggs there.
Later on that morning (about 10am), the maid called round. I answered the door, let her in and went back to sleep. Dreaming sweet dreams, I hadn’t the slightest clue what was about to happen next.
The maid was standing next to my bed calling my name. In a daze I opened my eyes and was confronted with the pigeon from the night before.
The maid had decided to pick up the pigeon, come in to my room and show it to me.
Believe me, being woken up by a pigeon in your face isn’t half as exciting as it sounds.
Now, just to drive home the fact that I am now back in India, this morning (Sunday), the maid called again. This time with her younger sister who was all decked out in her best sari and all her gold jewllery.
Thinking that she had mis-understood my reaction from the pigeon incident, it actually turned out that she wanted me to take photos of her sister so they could send them off for marriage proposals.
So here’s something you probably didn’t know about me: in my spare time I’m a pre-wedding photographer!
We went on to the roof of the apartment and I started giving instructions, (you’re a gazelle, a tiger, a lioness, give me a flick of the hair, now hold it…good!). Then it was back to the apartment for Meena (the maid) to review and choose the suitable photos. There had to be a front shot, a back shot and a close up of the face.
But there was a problem. Meena’s sister has dark skin and that’s totally not OK when it comes to the Indian marriage market. I played around with some filters on the computer to change the colours and lighten everything until Meena gave her approval.
I’ve now got to somehow print out all these photos 🙂
Just another weekend in India!