The Daily WORD is PACKING
NOTE: I wrote this before I left. Now I’m in Mumbai for a 12 hour layover for my flight to Nagpur. I don’t know what day it is
What I can’t cram into two, medium-sized roller bags and one computer case does not get to go to India. Here’s how I survive for two months without my snuggy and wardrobe and shoes and make-up and library card:
• Farkle (the game) is the most packable game ever
• Project Guttenberg (on line) has thousands of books
• Street market — $2 skirts and $2 blouses and $1 flipflops. Wear ‘em and leave ‘em with someone who can use them.
• Lipstick and all its pretty sisters melt in the tube and drip down my face. Who needs pretty.
Here is what I will miss the most:
• grandkids, kids, friends, dogs, and my bed
• 24/7 power. The power is usually off when I want to heat water for bucket bath, find something such as my flashlight, and every single time my computer battery gives out
• High speed internet. A slow connection instills a strong desire to learn some new swear words in Hindi
• Easy conversation. A few friends speak English fluently; a few more speak British English with a strong Hindi accent. They have difficulty understanding me, and I say “huh?” a lot. Working through interpreters is difficult for everyone.
• Being wallpaper. Middle-aged women such as me are like wallpaper. Who notices unless we do something stupid on the highway or engage in other stereotypical behavior? In India, I am “honored guest” and often asked to “say a few words.” I dearly love these people and no matter what I say sounds stupid to me and incomprehensible to them. I wish they would “say a few words” to me. I have so much to learn
And here are the fears that take up so much room in my “carry on.”
• The “get home now” call. It took five days after the “get home now” call when my father was dying to get from the middle of India to Kentucky – and if Brit Air were not so helpful I would not have gotten home in time.
• Dysentery – fodder for funny stories, but I’m not laughing
• Computer meltdown
So please put the first two items on your prayer list. (I don’t want to bother God with electronics – especially since I’ll be in the land of customer service call centers who will be happy to help me with Level One service: is your computer plugged in?)