Why hello there, here I am, still alive and quite shockingly I might add. I don’t even know where to start this thing because this country has done a number on me. The last 7 weeks have been a whirlwhind of emotions, children, naan, and many other things. It has been a doozy of a country, SO ENJOY (because I did not quite enjoy everything that happened on this list)
Here are the “highlights”
- Arrived in Delhi after like 17 flights.
- Was taking a poop with the door wide open when a very startled Indian woman and I made eye contact, she then proceeded to squeal and run away.
- Startled Indian woman then apologized to me at dinner in front of everyone for seeing me poop.
- Left Delhi and went to Jaipur.
- Learned Hindi from Indian John Stamos, not kidding the resemblance was uncanny. Also our translator was Indian Buster Bluthe from Arrested Development.
Visited a fort on Christmas Eve and got an insane number of selfies taken of us without any of our consent. I honestly don’t know the exact number of Indian’s cellphones that my picture is currently on but it is somewhere in the hundreds.
Christmas Eve festivities also included an alarming amount of snuggling and watching Christmas movies and then going to a midnight mass which ended up being all in Hindi. Also everyone in the church went to the front to take selfies with the priest mid sermon and took selfies with us of course.
Christmas morning we woke up, gathered in a room and gave each other presents for Secret Santa. Since the only thing I requested from my secret santa was “candy and toys, toys, toys” it was only reasonable that I got a LEGO set, Play Doh, and a huge plastic gummy bear filled with immense amounts of gummy bears. As my secret santa said she felt like she was shopping for an 8 year old boy. Needless to say my Christmas was awesome. So overall, first Christmas away from home was sad but also a lot of fun.
- Moved in with our host families the day after Christmas. Turns out instead of living with just 1 other person I would be living with 3 as both of our host families lived together (this would later be discovered as a lie as our host mom worked the system so that she could get more money lol)
- Host sisters, Kathy and Aditi, spoke amazing English and were extremely polite and gave us little snacks.
- Extremely polite host sisters then told us that our “host brothers” were extremely shy and that they would like us better if we gave them chocolate.
- Proceeded to give the boys my Christmas chocolate in a desperate attempt to make them not look like they wanted to crap their pants when they saw us.
- After eating the chocolate the boys still looked terribly alarmed and did not speak to us.
- They then asked us if we were good drawers to which I replied modestly that I was an ok drawer assuming that we would be doing some fun nonchalant coloring together.
- Ended up doing our 7 year old “host brother’s” entire Phases of the Moon project. While slaving over the project our host brother would be carried in by the host sisters and asked if he approved of our work every few minutes.
Had first day of school during which we thought we would just be observing but instead we ended up teaching.
- Quickly discovered that Kate and I are not at all qualified to teach English.
- Also quickly discovered that our teacher was 21 years old and was also very much not qualified to teach English. One day when Kate and I didn’t want to teach anymore we asked our teacher Shiv Paul if he would like to teach, he then proceeded to write the exact lesson we had taught yesterday(that he had taken notes on) and proclaim that this was how he taught! So that’s basically how teaching went for us.
- Also on the first day of work we were sitting outside during the lunch break when a bunch of curious kids began to approach us and stare at us. Unsure of what to do I decided to rawr at them. This then provoked a shrieking noise from all the kids and before I knew it basically all of the school was coming to play the “white people are scary” game
- I then stupidly added tickling to the mix and this was my biggest mistake bc after a while of me tickling them the kids realized that they could tickle me back and I ended up with bruises and scratches all over my body. Not kidding I was bleeding out of about 6 separate spots on my body.
- Also on a side note, some kid pulled my friend Mareen’s nose piercing out of her nose during school one day.
- Then came the rats, oh the rats, oh the rats. This was probably the most harrowing experience I had in all of this country and will require more than a few bullet points to explain.
- As we all slept snug in our bed together dreaming sweet dreams of beef, my roommate Maddie awoke in the middle of the night to a strange sound. As the sound continued to be made from somewhere in the room Maddie decided to look around and made eye contact with a creature sitting directly above my innocent head. Maddie then realized that she was staring face to face with a rat and proceeded to sit in the fetal position and not sleep for the rest of the night as she watched the rat crawl all over the bed and my body.
- Meanwhile sleeping me woke up multiple times in the night thinking that a bug was on my face but OH NO it was just a rat tail swinging above my head and occasionally hitting me in the face.
- Woke up in the morning to a blood shot Maddie her voice shaking explaining that a rat had crawled over my entire body the night before and even worse it has crawled over BLANKIE.
- Unsure of what the polite way to handle the situation was, we decided that we would just not sleep for the next 7 weeks.
- The next day after we had come home from work, I sat relaxing and doing a puzzle (puzzle to be mentioned later on in this post) in the living room with our host family when my roommate Rachel started calmly yelling from the room. I asked Rachel what was going on to which she replied “I caught the rat” in the most chillingly calm voice I have ever heard. Thinking I had heard her wrong I asked again and she repeated again, too calmly, that she had caught the rat. I ran into the room to find Rachel who had just tried to shut our window holding the window shut with the silhouette of an extremely large and struggling rat in the window (see fb for the proof this was NO mouse I assure you).
- Rachel, had caught the rat unknowingly when she shut our window and found it harder than usual to shut only to realize that there was a rat trapped between the screen and the window.
- We then decided that now would be an excellent time to tell our host family about the rat situation.
- They then went into rat termination mode and shut the door to our room so that we couldn’t see what was going on. We ran up to the balcony to watch what was happening and I watched as they opened the window trying to have the rat drop into a trashcan below and instead of doing this the rat jumped (I sometimes exaggerate but I will not do that here) out of the window and began to scurry all over our beds. I then watched them chase it around the room. I saw it jump directly from the floor to our bed in one jump which means that it had most definitely done that for the 5 nights we had been sleeping blissfully in our bed before the rat discovery.
- They miraculously caught the rat and asked us if we had a torch. Assuming they meant flashlight we handed them a flashlight to which they replied that no they meant the fire kind of torch. They then took the rat outside and we never learned what became of it.
- Continuing on from the rats because it was oh so traumatizing.
- Our host sister Kathy had never stayed up for New Year’s before and was super excited to stay up for the first year in her life. She made us play games outside late into the night and then when we got tired around 11 we retired to our room.
- Kathy came into our room and asked us what really happens at 12 midnight to which we explained that nothing happens really you just kinda say woo happy new year and go to bed.
- We were then sitting and talking when all of a sudden Kate and Maddie stopped responding to me and started shaking and shrieking. I thought it was something I had said but then I realized where there eyes were looking, at the large vent that goes into our room.
- They started muttering rat rat rat while trembling and then explained in panicked tones that a rat had come out of the vent and sat on the ledge and stared at us and then scurried back inside. I didn’t believe them until 12 minutes later when another little friend stuck his nasty little nose out and tried to crawl out through the side of the vent.
- Our host sister heard us squealing and came in and asked what was wrong. We explained the development in our situation to which she replied with an all too happy smile, “The rats just want to wish you a happy new year!” to which we told her that she just wasn’t funny in the driest tone possible.
- The rest of the family woke up at 12 to say happy new year. Kathy then told them that the rats were trying to spend new years with us! They told us that they would handle it in the morning and decided that the rats were coming down the wire that runs from the vent to the ground like a freaking fire man coming down his fire pole.
- The next day they put up a plastic tarp over the vent which semi solved the rat problem, however, we could sometimes hear and frequently see the rats fling their nasty little bodies up against the plastic in attempts to break out.
- Celebrated 100 days of being on this trip/not killing each other by coming up with more than 200 memories
- Saw Teen Wolf for the first time, it is more absurd than you could ever believe and I am now embarrassingly hooked.
- Read some dope books, Modern Romance by Aziz Anzari (10/10 but will make you extremely stressed out about finding “the one”), and opposite end of the spectrum There Are No Children Here (also 10/10).
Took a Bollywood dance class, an Indian cooking class, a sari workshop, and a henna workshop during which I hennaed Kinchy Baby onto the palm of my hand lol.
Went to a Bollywood movie called Airlift, basically Indian version of Argo except for the fact that there were 169,980 more people who escaped from Kuwait.
Saw another Bollywood movie on the plane which was the most complicated rom com in the world narrated by the family’s dog. V good would recommend to a friend.
- Did the world’s most heinous puzzle. It was wooden and the pieces were not your typical puzzle piece shape but instead cut out into absurd shapes. Think our host sisters worked on this puzzle 24/7 because they were on school vacation and we would leave them in the morning doing the puzzle and come back 9 hours later to them still doing the puzzle. We could constantly hear Aditi muttering “oh my god, oh my god, oh my god” cursing the puzzle and us.
Saw forts, on forts, on forts, and palaces, on palaces, on palaces
Discovered the game of Risk which I am so glad I just discovered in adulthood bc IT SUCKS! Contrary to popular belief there is no strategy to this game and all you do is roll dice and get unreasonably and unbelievably pissed at all involved to the point where your roomies and you don’t talk for a day.
Discovered that I am not a sleep walker or a sleep talker but a sleep armpit tickler, as my roommate Maddie woke up to me tickling her armpit one night.
Watched hella movies including: Zack and Miri Make a Porno, John Tucker Must Die, 10 Things I Hate About You, (these movies are my favs), The Terminal, Tucker and Dale vs Evil, Django Unchained, Inglorious Basterds, (Quintin Terentino is v gory not sure how I feel about his movies), Wolf of Wall Street, Boogie Nights (way too strange do not recommend or I do recommend bc it is so strange) and I for the first time watched the Star Wars movies (Episode 2 is officially my fav bc Anniken is the creepiest mofo ever), oh and also Captain America Winter Soldier.
During Captain America Winter Soldier my roommates convinced me I was a full blown racist bc when Samuel Jackson died in Captain America Winter Soldier I was beyond convinced that he couldn’t have died bc he was in Avengers 2, to which they told me that I was racist bc that was another black man. We had Avengers 2 on the computer and to prove them wrong I scrolled through the entire movie and saw everyone and everything but a living Samuel Jackson. This then confirmed to me my racist status. HOWEVER, at the end of Captain America Samuel Jackson freaking comes back to life and is in fact in Avengers 2 (to this day I still don’t know how I scrolled through the entire movie and didn’t see him) which my roommates knew the entire time they just wanted to give me an existential crisis about it.
Attended a 3 hour dance recital feat our kids in our class, one boy in my class, Vishal, did a Justin Bieber esque dance complete with pointing to the crowd and making hearts with his hands. The kids would also wave at us in the middle of their dance and get super excited that we were there it was extremely cute.
Rewatched part of Game of Thrones for the umpteenth time.
Learned why teachers love giving tests so damn much, its bc test days are the best days. Teachers literally get to sit there and do absolutely nothing. It’s awesome.
Graded our test and felt the depression that comes when your kids don’t do well, kinda believe now that teachers don’t actually want their students to fail bc it feels v not good.
- Had a driver who drove us to work one day who honked 68 times in 12 minutes. I counted each individual honk and may have even missed a few.
- Heard the phrase”cheating ma’am cheating” more than 100 times even when kids literally COULD NOT cheat. Snitches get stitches kids.
Brought a huge beach ball to school one day and threw it into the yard as a way to occupy them during recess time with something other than the “white people are scary” game. This turned the schoolyard into a scene straight from World War Z, kids were crawling over each other and on top of each other all trying to grab the beach ball. It ended with about 15 kids crying and every kid covered in dust from being trampled.
- Made a hand block printed scarf, the most stressful arts and crafts ever.
- Saw the Taj Mahal.
- Licked the Taj Mahal.
- Discovered the ungodliness that is a warm pizza hut cookie with ice cream.
Got a flat tire on our way back from Agra.
Sat on the side of an Indian highway for 3 hours and got served freshly plucked radishes from random Indian men (dw Mom I did not eat these)
- Watched people fly thousands upon thousands of kites to the tune of Justin Bieber’s Sorry mixed in with Bollywood music.
- Attempted to fly an Indian kite. This is no normal US kite let me tell you. The wind just doesn’t do the work for you.
- Got hit in the face too many times to count by my kite. Zuzu got a black eye from her kite lol.
- Was and still am unsuccessful at flying an Indian kite (can you tell I’m bitter)
- Watched thousands upon thousands of lanterns pop up all over the city with fireworks going off in every direction. It was one of the most incredible site I have ever seen.
Surprised Maddie for her bday by having dinner at a rooftop restaurant complete with gluten free chocolate cake.
Post dinner Kate and I almost ended up getting lost in India with no phone, no address, in the middle of the night. We were on our way to Delhi when I realized we were most definitely not going the right way and told the tuk tuk driver to turn around when I spotted the shadow of the abandoned amusement park that we pass everyday and was able to get us home. God bless you abandoned amusement park.
- Played hella Spot It and other games with our host sisters, and discovered that our host sister is the most frighteningly competitive person I have ever met and that says a lot bc I consider myself pretty damn competitive.
- If she didn’t win or wasn’t winning she would whine more than reasonable and one time even cried during a game not because she hadn’t won but because she wasn’t currently winning (she ended up winning the game in the end and was more than just a sore winner about it)
Had to deal with a 30 year old man, who just so happened to be the principal of our school, begging all of us for things like photos or for us to dance at the dance recital. Saying things like “please ma’am!!! Please!!! My photos ma’am!!! Please where are my photos!! Please ma’am its my birthday please please dance for me on my birthday!!” And other things along these lines. (Picture these said in a mixed British Indian accent with a grown man on his knees hands clasped together in front of me)
Learned how to say NO to this begging without feeling any feelings of guilt.
Side note when his begging didn’t work and we said no to him he would have the kids write down on a sheet of paper what he wanted from us. For example 20 of my kids came up to me the day after we said no to doing a dance on for his birthday and read from a piece of paper; “Ma’am we would greatly appreciate if you would dance on the 26th of January.”
Unintentionally became a chain smoker bc according to Zuzu’s sister and some internet stat living in an Indian city for a day is the equivalent of smoking 4 cigarettes and since I’ve been in India for 47 days I have smoked a total of 188 cigarettes. Hence my chronic bronchitis.
Played paintball for the first and last time, supposed to be team bonding event but ended with me trying to shield my body behind a large can and getting attacked from the left and right and from behind (by someone on my own freaking team)
Ended with me crying and begging for mercy/for the game to stop.
Played Harry Potter on the last day of school so we didn’t have to teach lol.
Was sad to leave our kids, we sang the good bye song which features the lyrics “see you in the morning bye bye bye” knowing that we would not see our kids in the morning or probably ever again 😦
Ate chapati, rice, and some curry type thing every single freaking day, for those who will say you are so lucky you got to eat real authentic Indian food everyday let me tell you that you would not want to eat it everyday for a freaking month. Honestly will not go anywhere near anything remotely Indian for a long while.
- On our last day we thought we were having an innocent goodbye photo shoot which then turned into a full on propaganda photo shoot for our host parent’s health clinic in our basement. The photoshoot included a yoga session complete with a photo of every yoga pose, a photo of us “buying” medicines from their pharmacy and me getting a fake massage with our host dad massaging my literal butt. It was QUITE the experience.
- Went to Pushkar and Udaipur.
- Watched some monkeys smiling a cow (see fb)
Rode a camel for the first time and have officially decided that they are the weirdest animals on our planet, they are constantly peeing and constantly farting, they also vomit up what I thought were their tongues but were actually their 5th stomachs??
Glamped (glamour camped0 so hard in the desert, our tents had beds, wallpaper, windows, and a bathroom and shower with actual warm water which our hotel didn’t even have.
- Saw where Octopussy was filmed.
- Went to the same restaurant in Udaipur so many times that the men running the restaurant knew us by name and noticed when Ana dyed her hair blue.
- Saw Best Exotic Marigold Hotel in the city where it was filmed and saw all of the places we had been in Jaipur in the movie which was cool (v cute movie about old people finding love in India, 10/10 would watch again, however, do not get your expectations up about what India looks like from this movie as I did before this trip bc you will be quite disappointed)
- Had 47 days of straight shits (and still counting). Put this lower down bc I know only my true friends will make it here and will expect this from me and for those unexpected readers of this bullet point I am sorry you had to know this about me but it’s true. India really did a number on me.
- Shed more than a few happy tears as we took off from India on the most amazing airline in the world, Emirates Airline I am doing some serious PR for you right here.
- Ate Shake Shack in Dubai.
- And now I am in freaking SOUTH AFRICA and feel like I am living in a dream. We went on a hike yesterday and swam in the oh so blue Indian Ocean and ate BEEF and I had gummies (oh yea India did not have any gummies either bc they have beef gelatin in them) and life is wonderful. I truly am so happy I am considering not coming home, jk family I will be coming home. And with that I conclude India and can put it all in the past!
Also huge big massive CONGRATULATIONS if you made it through this hella long blog post.
See you in 40 days USA!!!