Monday, February 11, 2008

Traveler vs.Tourist

Here I sit in Hyderabad, India at an Internet Cafe. I am typing fast because the power keeps going out so I won't be doing any proofreading. My daughter is now officially married - and she was a beautiful bride. The ceremonies actually began on Friday as they take two days to 'prepare' the bride and groom for marriage. I have hundreds of pictures which I will post as soon as I figure out how.

I have been in India for 8 days - and am often on sensory overload. The sights, the colors, the smells, the tastes are all so new to me. We have been saree shopping, jewelry shopping, salwar shopping - these people take shopping very seriously. The most difficult part for me at this point is coming to terms or understanding of the abject poverty - I can't even begin to describe it. A naked baby sitting alone on a sidewalk. A man with no legs trying to get across the street. The beggars who come up to the car windows at a red light, pressing their face against the window or the little girl (4 or 5 years old) who was washing windshields with a very dirty rag. When she finished with the car in front of us, she stood on tiptoe sticking her little hand into their window asking for money. They gave her none and she kept her hand in the window even as they drove away - and finally she let go with a total defeated look on her face. I searched for some type of coins but wasn't quick enough. No wonder I can't sleep at night.

I now understand the difference between being a tourist and a traveler. This is my first time being a traveler - and I will admit it has not been easy. The smog, the filth, the living conditions - a world so different from the one I know. One thing is the same - the people have been very kind to us. The children and I somehow are able to communicate - I think. One of the 'servants' and I have had some good laughs ( although I am not sure what the joke was). I have to be very careful not to cross the boundaries - can't be too friendly with the 'servants' - very hard for me.

Since I do not have regular Internet access I am writing in my journal on a regular basis. My digital camera has been my savior - people love to have their pictures taken - and then love it when I show the picture to them. There are a group of little boys who love my husband and they follow him around. They have the greatest smiles.

I will end here - time to go back for dinner. I know what we are having - rice. I have done a good job eating with my right hand. I feel as if I am under a microscope as I eat - they crowd around me and stare.

I am thinking of you all - and will hopefully be able to write again soon.


Cullenbud said...

I was thinking of you all of yesterday. Can't wait to see pictures. Love, Audrey

Anonymous said...

You never know how good life is till you walk in some one else's shoes. Keep up the blogging Tell melissa uncle danny loves her.

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