“Do You Like Beer?”

Yesterday Gabriella and I went somewhere *gasp* BY OURSELVES, which is crazy because she is Swedish and I am American and therefore there were no Indians with us, which is at least a little bit taboo.  Although we both love hanging out with the Indians in our group, it was so nice to be able to interact with India how we wanted to, without constantly being reprimanded.  We are always told not to talk to anyone who we don’t already know, even if that means blatantly ignoring words or extended hands that are looking for nothing more pricey than a handshake.  I realize that these rules are “for our own good” and that there are scammers in the world, but one of my favorite things about traveling is meeting people who live where I’m visiting.  They know more than I do and they can show me the cool things that Lonely Planet may have missed or the tourism booklets think no one would be interested in.

ANYWHO,  we went to the internet cafe (where we are again today…ooo…exciting), and after walking around for a little bit and buying some ice cream we settled down at the beach to watch the sun and the water and the people who were fishing in the shallows.  A 13 year old boy came up behind us and tried to sell us the maps and coloring books that he had, which, of course, neither of us were interested in.  Even though we made it clear that we had no desire to buy anything he was selling he stuck around for at least 20 minutes, telling us about Mumbai and making jokes that flirted with being inappropriate , which I think both of us appreciated for a little while, because we have been so stuck in one mode of living for so long, that a teaser of something else was like a breath of fresh air.  (My personal favorites were a: his attempting to wink at Gabriella, which, for him, was lethargically almost blinking his left eye constantly and b: his insistence that he would get so bored with every woman that he ever had in his life that he would probably go through one hundred before he died.  This kid was THIRTEEN.)

Eventually we’d had enough of him and he wasn’t leaving on his own, so we got up and walked further down the pier and sat somewhere else.  After casually talking for a while we noticed some guys wearing sunglasses and white ties hung loosely around their necks, which I thought was hilarious.  They were taking pictures and eventually came over to where we were sitting and asked us to take a picture with them.  We are always told not to do this, but there were no Indians other than the ones that wanted their photos taken with us, and I really can’t see anything bad happening from that.  We took a few photos, talked with them for a while (told them the little Hindi that we knew, among other things) and found out they were celebrating something that evening.

Then they asked the infamous pre-party question, “Do you like beer?”  We said no, knowing where the question would lead and not wanting to get into trouble with the Indians from Acts 29.  As soon as they walked away, though, we both kind of regretted (are there really a double t in that word?) it, because we want SO MUCH to see what it’s like to spend time with “authentic” Indians in an authentic environment.  Oh well, my Mum will be glad to know that I’m still turning down drugs and alcohol.  ;P

It was such a good day.  I felt like I was actually traveling in India instead of being a part of a huge directionless mob, that is in some different country, maybe.

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