My birthday in India was delightful, (thank you for the bday wishes) – and extra long, as it was still my U.S. birthday on the morning of the 26th in India. Just kidding, I didn’t celebrate it that long. But I did get to skype my family, which is always fun, because it’s almost like hanging out with them. However, I would like to say that at one point in the conversation, Niels and the Faj both started kissing Lars and paying way more attention to him than me. Lars will always be the favorite child, even on my birthday.
In the morning, some friends and I went to get dosa for breakfast. (Dosa is a delicious food I have already blogged about.) I’ll try to take some pictures of it, so you can have a visual. I would post a picture of this excursion, but the one I have is completely blurry. I always try to tell people that you have to hold the button down half way to focus it first, but my Telugu skills do not extend that far.
After Telugu class and lunch, I went bike shopping all afternoon with Courtney, Kristin, and one of the guys who works for the program, named V-raju. All the bike shops we went to are little holes-in-the-wall; some had no bikes, while the others were crammed full of bikes. That was semi-productive. We’re still looking for used bies, but all we could find were new ones. I just found out that I could possibly buy a scooter for cheaper than a bike, so we’ll see. This is a picture of me waiting for a bus, on my birthday, while bike shopping - so. exciting.
After bike shopping, we attempted to make a cake. Luckily, we had a box of brownie mix and a box of banana pudding. After several failed attempts of making crepes out of the brownies, we gave up and scrambled the brownies, and then molded them into a cake-like structure. A couple of my friends bought ice cream, (with vegetable fat as the first ingredient), which layered into my cake as well. It was super fancy.
The India besties who constructed my cake:
Courtney fake soft-shoed danced for me, which is endlessly funny to me. I know it won’t be funny at all to any of you, but at least I will laugh when I look back on my blog:
And Dan did a Chuckles impression for me, which is always funny. However, Krishnayya, (my professor here), would not do a Chuckles impression for me. Bummer, because according to Chuckles, Krishnayya does a good one.
After cake and that entertainment, we gathered around a laptop and watched “Sleepless In Seattle”, while eating popcorn and “masala munchies,” (which taste like flaming hot cheetos with lime – I know cheetos are the trashiest and most unhealthy food imaginable, but I LOVE them), snickers bars, (one of the few American candies they have here), and “maaza.” Maaza is this mango juice drink, which tastes like fresh squeezed mangos and is one of the most heavenly things I’ve ever tasted on this earth. It’s also the main thing that gets me through my daily 2-hour-long Telugu class.
This is a picture of Durga, Lova, and I. I love Durga and Lova SO much. They are from some tribal village, but now they live in Visak and work as our cooks. Durga is 20, but I seriously feel like she’s my mom. She always takes such good care of all of us, and helps us with everything. Lova is just an adorable 15-year-old. She gets a repulsed/scared look on her face anytime we offer her American food, or ask her to dance for us. She is totally dramatic, which is only enhanced by the body language we have to use with each other, since we don't always understand each other.
Also, one of the girls in the program gave me one of the best compliments of my life – she told me I annunciate very well. Seriously, guys, being from Provo, Utah, a place of “stills,” “dills,” and dropped t’s, that means the world! Best birthday compliment ever!