Today we dared to venture outside of our comfortable home. It was very interesting to put it simply. Our Aunties took us to Mutunga for some shopping and city viewing. They wanted to try out the new driver they had hired for us, to make sure his driving was safe and he was a good person to leave us with for the next 3 weeks. To be honest, it was scary at first. He was having hard time putting on the break while changing gears. He also tried to make a right in a left flowing roundabout until our Aunty pointed out that he had to go to the left first to get to the right. But we made it to our shopping destination. SPLAT*
We thought that we would be grown up enough to handle being by ourselves for a bit while our Aunties shopped. They told us to go right when leaving the store they were in for shopping in the market, but we stepped outside and immediately made a left. Aunty came out running, and pointed the other way. It was a great start. Yep we are full grown adults, fully capable of following basic directions.
We went into a shopping area. It was a very narrow enclosed area and yes heads did turn as Ceci walked down the hall, but she claimed it was still better than the plane ride. There was a shop where we thought we could try our first shopping experience. Vinisha tried her Hindi skills and pretended to be Cecilia's "local" friend. We started by saying we wanted to look at some Kurtis (tunics). The shop showed about 10 pieces before he stopped and said tell me what you want to buy. Our response was, "well, why don't you show us and then we can decide. He was soooo angry at us, and asked "I'll only show you if you are going to buy!" Well, we're not buying! Luckily we got a phone call and we ran away. It will be a nice story to tell in the future (like now). SMACK*
Then we wandered over to the sari store, and did the same thing. But we weren't yelled at this time. So maybe we'll buy from this man some day.
From there, we went back to the store where we left our Aunties. We sat and had discussions about use of as gold an investment, use of accessories in weddings and other marriage customs. We also talked about socially conscious buying practices and creating a chart to qualify the quantitative measurement of socially responsible purchase. It was a very analytic conversation. Finally, we discussed "what do normal people talk about?" GOT YA!*
We finally met up with our Aunties and headed through the fruits market. Vinisha was drooling to eat the local and very yummy smelling fruits. Aunty said that we would not buy from them, because they know they are with foreigners and didn't want to pay the "white girl premium". So we crossed the street, where Ceci's hand was grabbed by our Aunty and drawn across the street to ensure safe crossing. Vinisha let a few more cars pass before she made it to the other side with the group. The street was supposedly very thin. EEW!*
AAAHHH* We then stopped at a sandwich shop and negotiated whether or not we should have the veggies in the sandwich. We decided to go for it, and take Cipro if we need to later. From there we took our car ride back home and ate our sandwich in the car. IT'S STILL ALIVE*
YES!* This time in the car, the driver was much better and we felt much more comfortable. So we'll be taking him tomorrow for our visit to Dharavi.
OH, did we mention that we have a long day planned with SPARC representatives at Dharavi? We are meeting Sharmila and Avery for a visit with some Dharavi residents and businesses! We'll also visit some SPARC projects and buildings.
Final announcement that we would like to share is that we have a meeting with Sheela Patel for Thursday!
Cheers to learning out side of the classroom!
* The great battle of the new year! Ceci and Vinisha Vs. The Mosquitos.