Monday, October 4, 2010
This requires pocket change!
Sight seeing has taken on a whole new meaning in India. Sensory overload is oppressive - sounds, sights, smells, taste and general motion sickness are part of my commute to work every day. I now have my favorite cow family I see each morning before I make the turn to our facility, commonly known as Bang 3. I recognize the way home not by street signs (because there are not any) but by street vendors selling fruit to people in traffic jams on a particular corner or the stores I long to stop at but have no time. One of these days I will get to Mother Earth, @Home or the Cane Boutique. One of the most unique things to see is a pack of beggars (I know, not very nice) but this is a special variety. On a few key roads, like the one in front of Emma's dance studio, are the cross-dressing group.
From a far, this crew stands out from the regular street beggars - as they are dressed in colorful, crisp sarees and arms stacked with shimmery bangles. A closer stare reveals wispy side burns, jaw achne and a pronounced adam's apple. Could it be? Is that a guy? I am not convinced, but his partner slowly makes his way along the cars parked in the traffic jamb. Knock, knock! They have stopped at my car - asking for money. My driver (who is usually pretty strict on waving away the panderers) promptly rolls down the window and forks over a few rupees. Appalled by this,I am informed that if you don't give some money- you might get flashed or the pair of beggers may start kissing each other! Still feeling safe in the backseat of my car, I put on my oversized Mary-Kate Olsen sunglasses and pretend I cannot see a thing. Safe!
About an hour later Emma and I are waitng on the steps of the studio waiting for our pick up and the troop of day ladies meander up to us asking for something in Hindi. This time Emma puts on her sunglasses and we both look at the sky. Thankfully they walked away, I am told they usually don't bother the ladies :)