Monday, March 26, 2012

Local Desh

In the past month, we've attended both our housekeeper's and our gardener's children's birthday. More cake baking and decorating opportunities. It's no secret that doing "local" activities here is a favorite of mine. I think the more you experience the true customs and daily life in a place, the more you understand and appreciate it. If I drove down some of the hairpin back alleys or walked in the dark stairwells we have recently been in on a vacation, it'd be dodgy, but doing it here now feels everyday and comfortable. We trust the person behind the wheel and the one waving us ahead with an inch to spare between the car and the buildings, and we enjoy when we arrive at our destination greeted by warm faces and hands helping to show us into their home.
We still aren't used to get togethers after 8PM. And we still feel uncomfortable being expected to take the best chairs in the house and being catered to eat before everyone else. I am learning to eat and drink slowly, as otherwise there will repeatedly be more thrust onto my plate with a smile. It's still hard to be a woman in a house and not help in the kitchen or clean up dishes. Continuously I tell our hosts that there homes are lovely and welcoming, though they continue to apologize for the heat or the small spaces. Their English is much better than my poor Bangla, but it's still sometimes not the heartiest of conversations. But even though the conversation may be light, the kids know no language barriers and play games together with giggles instead of words. Tonight, we were told how happy it made our hosts for us to be a guest in their home, how happy they were for us to bring our children and share a meal together... it made us happy too. As much as they are honored that we journey to their homes, they don't realize how honored we are to be invited.

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