Monday Morning Musings

Posted on April 24, 2017 under Monday Morning Musings with 8 comments


Bup’s girls


It’s time to get home to my granddaughters.

After six months and many adventures, I will be making my way home later this week. With any luck, I’ll be having a cup of coffee at the Tall and Small on Monday morning. It has been an amazing experience and I will be sharing it with anyone who is interested at the library on May 17th. I have a PowerPoint presentation to share with you. Lots and lots of pictures… and every one of them is worth a thousand words.

In no particular order these are the topics that I will be covering in the presentation: religious fervour; spicy food; demonetization; the Indian banking system; the eternal quest for a good wifi connection; garbage; noise pollution; poverty; fundraising; teaching ESL; language issues; the Daughters of Mary and much more.

I have met so many wonderful, amazing people. I was invited out to dinner a few evenings ago. Two generations of families from Kolkata ( Calcutta ) in the state of West Bengal had me over for traditional dishes. The vast majority of my diet over here has been vegetarian. They refer to it as “ veg.” Throw in some meat and it’s called “ non veg.”  In one evening, I think I rebalanced the scale with a meal that was mostly meat and fish. There was one vegetable dish and some raw vegetables. I can hear some of you who have been to India gasping that I would consume uncooked vegetables. But when you’re in someone’s home, there’s a very good chance that they’ve been washed.

I shouldn’t tempt fate and say this … but what the hell. I managed to escape any kind of illness. I ate everything put in front of me with gusto and never had a bad reaction. I was always vigilant about the water and most public places have very good drinking water.

Back to the meal.

Besides rice ( I have eaten a lifetime supply of rice in six months! ) , the other offerings were: Dhoka ( a Bengali specialty ); Chicken Curry; Mutton Do-Piyanze; chilly chicken; lorshe maach ( Fish in mustard sauce ); aloo-Gobi ( Cauliflower and potato mixed in a sauce ) and curd. I think it was one of the most delicious ( and unbalanced!! )  meals I had ever eaten and the mother of the clan did most of the cooking. I raved about it and she was beaming. A lot of pictures were taken.

I would have to say that the single biggest challenge in a country like India is language. I now have a pretty good ear and could probably distinguish between Malayalam ( Kerala ); Tamil ( Tamil Nadu ); Telagu ( Telangana state ) and Hindi ( Delhi ). I realize that the problem is MINE. It’s really tough when you’re trying to get a cab or auto rickshaw and you can’t communicate effectively. I hope to learn a little bit of every one of these before returning. I know one verse of a Malayalam song and trot it out once in a while to the delight ( chagrin? ) of the locals.

I am ready to come home. It will be good to see everyone again. Do not be surprised if there is no Thursday Tidbits as it is likely a travel day.

Thanks for joining me for the ride.


Have a great week.


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8 Responses to Monday Morning Musings

  1. Carmen says:

    I have really enjoyed reading about your adventures, Len. I’d love to get to the session at the Library. Perhaps you’ll write later with the particulars. (as the date draws nearer)

  2. Greg Albert says:

    Another interesting read Len and I guess you will be teaching your wife some new things about the way you want your food cooked lol.I Finally got your other book which is as interesting as the others were.Hope you will have another one about your trip to India.Will not be able to be at the library on the 17th as I am going for an operation and will be laid up for awhile.So anyway have a safe trip home.

  3. Miriam Gillis says:

    Wishing you all the best as you head “home” to see your family and friends. May blessings accompany you on your journey. Many people look forward to your return.

  4. Donna & Clem van Rossum says:

    Safe travels! Hope to see you on the 17th!!!

  5. Alfred and Kathleen says:

    I have followed each of your musings as you made your way throughout parts of India. Fascinating! Our invitation is still open to you and Betty for an overnight visit with us this summer. Give us a call!

  6. Bring back a fridge magnet….

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