Saturday, December 11, 2010


Sure has a vacuum cleaner. A simple canister type. But it wasn’t working, the plug needed to be rewired.  So I fixed it and brought it home. The neighbours saw me with it on the back of my motorcycle and gathered round to inspect this device. They had never seen one. They didn’t know what it did. So being the great vacuum salesman that I am I proceeded to demonstrate how it worked to my neighbours. I wonder what they think of me.

A street wedding for a local boy happened over the period of a week. Lights were strung on the buildings for the festive occasion.  So I bought some LED coloured lights and put them over my doorway too. I was invited, of course, and spent brief periods of time walking the streets with the crowds, getting food and standing around just watching. I could only do short walks as every time I went out my entourage of kids followed me around and forced my attention on them.  Even though I got to eat at the wedding buffet, it still costs 100 rupees as a gift to attend. Standard fare.

I was invited to the one year birthday of Khartik, son of Ganesh from work.  At the event I was told that a woman wanted to meet me. Oh good I thought, someone to talk to who hopefully speaks English. This was the case and Bernice John, a 26 year old young woman was interested in me going to meet her father the local priest of a church just outside of Barmer.  I went to the church, met and talked with Mr. John, while enjoying an omelette his wife made for me.  The whole family speaks English. I was invited to mass on Sunday.  I’ll report on that later.

On the way to the church I had just turned the corner of my street when some local boys stopped me. I don’t usually stop for these kids and I don’t know why I did so then. But they tried to get on the bike and started pawing me and it took a while to get them away so I could safely drive off. Cutting to the chase, when I got home that evening I discovered my Leatherman multi-tool was not in my belt holder. I suspect, strongly, one of the boys lifted it from me then. I have put up a poster offering a 100 rupee reward, but so far no luck.

Still waiting for a reply for my application to do a year with VSO in China.  In any case I will return to Canada in March 2011.

I bought a book at the airport when I went to Kerala to meet with Cindy and Melissa. It’s by one of my favourite authors Arundhati Roy who some of you know wrote The God of Small Things.  This book is called Listening to Grasshoppers, Field Notes on Democracy. Wish I could recommend it, but it is just too depressing to do so.  Nevertheless, I read on.

Kerala was a lot of fun. In the short week there I got to know Cindy and her daughter Melissa as we travelled around the tea plantations and waterways.  Arundhati Roy says India is a place of many centuries and Kerala had a good mixture of the 20th century.  Much more so than Barmer has. Actually, I’m not sure the 20th century has made it to Barmer.

Anyone can carry on a conversation but it’s rare to find someone who can carry on a silence.
 - Jeff Moss

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1 comment:

  1. Nice exchange of email chat this afternoon. These snippetts filled in a few gaps - China, why China, have you been before and do you know where? I'd have loved to have gone there but no P&G programme :(