Last week we planned to take a day off of school, and head out to shop--just the girls and me. Then I got sick. I was in bed for 3 days with a fever and I ached everywhere. I was just plain miserable. I have some lingering congestion in my chest, but otherwise I am back to normal. So, we took today for our little rendezvous. Normally, in the States, I can dedicate an entire day to shopping...at least pre-surgery I could. Now, I can do at least four hours (with a meal out) before I get all buzzy and need the solace of my home. Here in India, I find my max is two hours, and at the end of the two I feel like I have been through some version of hell. I am totally frazzled, exhausted, overstimulated, and in need of my bed.
The poverty can really get to me. There are different degrees of poorness, and today I found myself surprisingly annoyed at a well dressed and seemingly well fed girl who kept grabbing my arm and asking for money after I had given her a fruit bar, and literally the next minute in a state of extreme grief and dizzying helplessness after coming upon a sickly, scrawny woman curled up on the street corner with a baby sitting in front of her. I looked around for some food to buy her, but there was nothing, so I embarrassedly gave her a fruit bar. After seeing the woman, I wanted to take the girls home, and call it quits. This was not what I had in mind for a girl's day out. India's reality stinks.
We found ourselves in a neat shop that appeared small, but opened up to a larger store in the back, and an upstairs too. We all found treasures--things to gift, and things to keep. It was a success, until my purse knocked a wooden box off of the counter causing the lid to shatter. I offered to buy it, but they were gracious, as we were buying half of their merchandise anyway. ;-)
After we left with our parcels, I reached for my phone to call our driver, and my phone was dead. We walked the length of the street 2 1/2 times looking for our van to no avail. I do not have any phone numbers memorized, and I did not think to ask Makaela (who has every number in the entire world memorized), so we caught a rickshaw. Thank goodness for rickshaws and honest rickshaw drivers-- who are a miracle in and of themselves.
We arrived home, and I had Andrew call our driver to tell him that we were back at the hotel. :-) The driver had parked one street over, as he could not find a space on MG Road. This seemingly small decision on his part, created a day that the girls and I shall not soon forget.