Saturday, August 4, 2012

Everything is Just Peachy!

I am back in Bombay for Year 2 at the American School of Bombay and living the dream of being an international educator.  I cannot begin to tell you how much easier it is coming home this year!  As I reflect on last year, I wonder how 1) I survived and 2) how everyone else put up with me!  To put it mildly, it was a tough year!  Thankfully, when I have shared this with a few of my close friends here in Mumbai, they say they find it hard to believe, which leads me to believe that 1) they are either way too nice or 2) I'm a pretty good actress.  (I'm going with option #1!)

Coming back to our home all set up, having Tina to help me navigate the day to day issues, and feeling a sense of renewed and positive energy, I feel like I am in a position to set some goals for myself.  There's the obvious, like eating less/moving more and keeping a positive attitude, but then there are some that serve to make our lives in Bombay easier.  Yeah, yeah, I know I should list them all here, but then some of you would be tempted to try to hold me accountable.

This weekend, I tackled what back in the states wouldn't even begin to be considered a challenge:  Buying fruit!

Fruit here is so lovely and fresh!  It's sold in stalls or off of carts in the market or on the side of the street.  But notice...none have the  little sign telling you how much it costs!  My challenge, nay, my fear is that of getting ripped off!  Last year, I kept my currency converter at the ready so I could understand the Rupees to USD difference.  This year, I feel much more confident with that conversion, so if the fruit walla tells me mangoes are 70 rps a kg then I know that is about $1.40.

There in lies the next challenge.  If you know me at all, you know that I always say, "I'm a Literacy Coach/Reading Specialist for a reason!"  How much is a stinkin' kg?  The only thing I know about kg's, is that I like the way my weight looks on the scale when compared to the pound.  Maybe it's best I avoid converting pounds to kg's, so to solve this challenge, I can just buy by the piece rather than the kg!  No conversion necessary!

I've also spent a lot of time asking friends and my helper, Tina, about how much I can expect to pay for specific fruits.  I'm learning to bargain and I assure the fruit wallas that 'I am a Mumbaikar' in order to try to avoid what Rick likes to call "The White Tax."

So today, as I was walking back toward home after my walk, I stopped at the  fruit carts off Carter Road and ta-da!

I bought 6 bananas (20 rps = $.35), 4 peaches (60 rps = $1.07) and 2 juicy mangoes  (50 rps = $.89).
I'm so excited and it really wasn't that hard!  I am constantly amazed at the people of India.  The men working at the stands were very helpful, no one tried to rip me off---I didn't even feel the need to bargain at those prices!  They all wanted me to buy from them, so I bought each fruit from a different cart because I want them to know that I am equally nice!

By conquering this goal, I feel a little more self-sufficient in a place where that isn't always the easiest thing.  This is home, after all, and it is good to be back.

1 comment:

  1. I'm amazed at what you did. I'd love to do it, but it's so scary. I'm sure Tully is also having the most amazing experience and it's like nothing he could learn in school. And the kg thing, I always think in back to elementary school when they told me a kg was about the weight of a phone (you know, the big heavy thing with a rotary dial?). That just dated That way I always remember it's about 2.2 lbs. Wishing you a great year!!!