Monday, May 18, 2009

About as average as it gets

Back in Varanasi people would email me from time to time and ask, "But what do you do all day?"  It was a good question then, and it still is.  I did a few 'slice of life' posts back then and I thought I'd do another here, before we leave Pune.  (In 2 weeks - EEK!)

While we do have a routine, we never have an 'average' day - who does?  But yesterday was fun and interesting and fairly representative so here goes...  (and I always love these sorts of posts when other bloggers do them!)

early morning:  Chris is up, writing his dissertation.  Kids wake up, read in bed or come get in bed with me. I sleep as long as possible.

8:00:  Chris is leaving for Hubli, kids are officially UP and now so am I.

next few hours:  people eat, watch Power Rangers, Skype Meema and Grampy, leave for Hubli.  Caitlin goes out to have a water fight with a friend down the street.  

later on in the morning:  Caitlin sits down to write her first novel (about a dwarf and an elf who team up to steal pearls) and Ben begins work on a knight/dragon battle scene mural.  In his pj's, naturally.  Still in my pj's too, I make another cup of coffee, grab my knitting and try to keep up.

We discuss going to the grocery store, but decide to play some cricket instead.  Caitlin continues writing.  Kindly neighbor lady comments on my (lack of) bowling skills and points out that I am "doing Father's duty."  I point out that Father is in Hubli, but still, cricket must be played...  Neighbor kids come down, Ben joins their soccer game and I head in to cook.  

lunch:  mac and cheese and apples.

quiet time, pt. 1:  Ben and I read about oceans, Caitlin re-reads From the Mixed-Up Files...  

quiet time, pt. 2:  I take a power nap while Caitlin and Ben watch a documentary about British monarchs from Victoria to the present.

afternoon:  despite the ridiculous heat, we head out to play more cricket.  Caitlin, batter bar none, knocks one into the next compound and we take an adventure through back alley to retrieve the ball.

5ish:  Bite the bullet and head to the grocery store.  Discover that I do indeed know the way as I have to direct the rickshaw wallah.  Decide to eat dinner at Pizza Hut first, to power up.  The mall was packed - day after Thanksgiving packed, and this was just a normal day.  On our way to the bathrooms after dinner we passed some young people working a booth promoting AIDS awareness and safe sex.  For India, this is nothing short of revolutionary.  They were handing out flyers and red ribbons.  And though the numbers are off, they had a poster that I loved:  "90 people get swine flu and everyone's wearing a mask.  Millions get AIDS and no one wants to wear a condom."  I give the lone young woman at the booth major props and proudly don my ribbon.  On our way out Caitlin peruses the Swatch kiosk, looking for a waterproof watch for her birthday.  No dice.  

6:30ish:  Across the street, we duck into the bookstore before grocery shopping.  Kids each pick out a story book and activity book for birthday presents. We have great fun bobbing and weaving through the throngs of Jeffrey Archer fans.  (Does anyone know who he is?  I had no idea, but apparently he's like Elvis here.)  He's talking about going on after Mickey Mouse.  

7ish:  Grocery store, finally.  Like a mosh pit, but with lousy music.  There was a Thai monk there, and as I later learned, Thai monks are not to be touched - he must've been the unhappiest monk on the planet.  I cannot imagine why so many people needed to go grocery shopping on a Sunday night.  Most of them were buying weird stuff, like the guy behind me with a cart full of chocolate gift boxes and laundry detergent, or the other guy with banana chips, popcorn, bleach and chapattis.  

8ish:  Back safe home again!  We whip through washing and narrowly avoid disaster when Ben realizes Dad isn't going to be home for bedtime.  "I don't want to talk to Dad on the phone.  I want to talk to Dad in person!"  

9ish:  Kids asleep, I blog like a mad.  

later:  still blogging like mad, talk to Chris a bit.  He's safe in Hubli, so happy to be back with his old buddies.

even later:  what, you think I can just crank out those posts in no time?

much to late:  finish blogging, read some more Paul Theroux, finally go to bed.  

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