Sunday, August 28, 2011

With all that power, what would you do?

Today was a really good day to be in India.
 A bill was passed to help stop the corruption, or at least to set up a system that would help stop corruption and Anna has stopped his hunger strike. This morning i had the opportunity to go to church up in Landor and was surprised to see so many familiar faces from the Woodstock school staff. The church was only about thirty deep but it was a beautiful building and very well kept. I got  a ride from wood stock to the church from the preacher who heard that i wanted to attend and was happy to pick me up. Its funny, but he reminded me of my Papal who whistles church hymnals as he drives except this man whistled church songs that i have never herd of... and i know a lot of church hymns.
Once at the church an old man who i normally eat dinner with in the cafeteria was walking up to sit inside. His name is George Roddick and he is the funniest person i have come to know in my time here. Everything he says is the opposite of what you would expect. He is a history teacher for the Woodstock school and as wise as i thought he was he will beg to differ. He said today "I have no idea what is going on, i'm a history teacher i only know what WENT on." I laughed historically. He has a thick Irish Accent and when he laughs, even though sometimes i cant understand him, i have to laugh because his smile is too contagious. His dentures, if he smiles to big, will even drop a little making it seem like he is laughing with his jaw clenched. He is so clever that i think people don't get his sense of humor sometimes. Today i couldn't stop laughing as we ate lunch together and he cracked jokes about every teacher in the school. If i could be like anyone when i am that old it would be Mr. G as he preferred me to call him.
After eating with Mr. G i walked down to the Market to take a look around. Also i heard sense the Bill was passed their would be a huge celebration in the streets and prices on things would be on sale. So me and my cheap self couldn't pass up the opportunity so i headed into the dense crowed of people with my eyes the size of apples. Being in the market by yourself gives you a different experience. Its like being a child again. I couldn't read anything and was to afraid to talk to anyone i tried to keep to myself until a local man i meet in store offered his help. I bought some clothing for my sisters and mom back home and tried out my Hindi by asking the store keep how much it was. We agreed on a price and once i paid him he asked me what i was doing in the city. Once i told him i was from Woodstock his attitude changed a little bit. I guess some of the people in the city below Woodstock admire a lot of people that work there so he treated me like his best friend immediately. He told me all about the festival they were having that day and how i should go get noisemakers and have a good time but that just wasn't me. Before i left though he came out of the back with this black hat that he said would look perfect on me. It looked like a child's cowboy hat so at first i refused but when he said the magic word, Free, i changed my mind and gladly wore the hat out of the store and down the street. Once i noticed that people were laughing at me i had to take it off because i didn't need anymore people staring at me than their already were.
For a brief moment i was lost in the city. I felt like Lin, the character in the book i am ready as i walked along the back road of the dense Indian city, my cowboy hat in hand and the few Rupees i had left crammed into my grey wool vest pocket. My sandals were starting to irritate my feet and in my head i complained about how they hurt but i knew i was living the high life compared to these people. Some i could tell had seldom ever worn shoes, and if they had they didn't last long. I could see children walking barefoot across stones, glass, and trash everywhere. I wanted to take off my shoes because i felt so ashamed to be living so nicely while these people right in front of me were barefoot. The most amazing thing was that once i decided to become unafraid of the people in the city i saw the city for what it was. I saw smiling faces, different senses of humor, and a common nature to love each other. I made it a mission to find my way back to the school and started asking people with the few words i knew in Hindi. I was surprised to find that most the people responded in English, but happy to know that i only had a couple of miles more to walk to the school as long as i took every right street until i reach a long road. My adventure had basically come to a close once i could see Woodstock in the distance but i learned so much today that i think my adventure has just begun. 

1 comment:

  1. Hey Buddy!
    Glad you are soaking it all in and enjoying yourself. Remember there is only one main rd. in town that basically goes East/West. Follow it and you will always come to a landmark you will recognize.
    If you get homesick and need a little Western food ask my Mom, my friend Steve Alter that lives in Oakville just above Hanifl Center, or eat at the Clock Tower Cafe in town. Soak it all in and enjoy. The monsoons will break soon and you will be trated with the "golden weather" of mid September and October. Again... dhakhbhal se mazza karo!