Stuff I Talk About

by Christina Ledbetter

Stuff I Saw and Decisions I’ve Made

We ran errands one day last week. You know, like when you go to Target? HA HA HA HA HAHAHAHAH! (Imagine that’s a funny laugh that goes on for so long it gets awkward, and then you realize it’s a crazy laugh and maybe you should find your purse and leave.)

Stuff I Witnessed While Running Errands:

  • A cluster of men in white, walking down the crowded, Mumbai street CARRYING A DEAD BODY over their heads on a bamboo gurney. (There was a sheet over it, but still.) “Is that…” I stammered. Benson nodded.
  • Two children swatting each other on a bridge, laughing. Their free hands are filled with flowers they attempt to sell to passersby. Like a watercooler moment. But not like that at all.
  • A man with no arms, knocking his elbow nubs on our car window. I heard the knocking and thought Benson was trying to get my attention. I looked over and gasped when I saw a coffee brown face filling the glass, cloths tied in knots atop his head (and just so we’re clear, not like how I wear hair scarves), just bump bumping away with his elbows.
  • Men squatting on the sidewalk weaving bamboo window shades by hand. It’s the same style I have in my home in Houston. So that’s where they begin their life, I think.
  • Two mattresses pushed together on top of some boxes under a bridge. Fabric strung on one side for partial privacy.
  • A river of garbage. A literal river of garbage.

Life Decisions I Have Made Recently Regarding the Purchase and Consumption of Food:

  • I will not purchase Rice Krispies in India. I found a box in a luxury grocery store and kind of shrieked. Like if you’re at the hospital visiting your aunt and you bump into a friend in the hallway who’s visiting someone else and it’s like, “What are YOU doing here?!” I picked up the box and wondered how those poor Rice Krispie men are faring in this bustling land. Then I checked the price and saw that they were twelve dollars (somebody’s gotten a bit uppity, haven’t they?).
  • I will continue to spend exorbitant amounts of rupees on good avocados when I find them, which isn’t often. I snatched one up last week though at that same store with the cereal. I stretched it to five meals and each time I take a bite I feel like a king. I told one of my neighbors about how good it was when I saw her at the gym today. She sat on a mat, stretching to touch her toes. “What does an avocado taste like?” she asked. “Like a pineapple?” I shook my head in pity and told her that the next time I buy an avocado, I’ll have her over so she can taste it.
  • I will not pretend to enjoy traditional Indian sweets anymore. I WILL NOT. I feel really good about this decision. Sunday after church this guy tried pushing some orange sticky ball sweets on me three times and I just kept shaking my head. I will live here. I will be kind. I will worship Jesus. But I will not eat Indian sweets. They’re gross and I hate them.

Other Updates:

  • Three men showed up at our apartment and fixed our leak!
  • Monsoon rains are fading. For the past few days there’s been more sunshine than clouds.
  • I started taking a pilates class. I really don’t get it at all, but the people are nice, so I guess I’ll keep going.

Scenes from the week:

Know what this meal tasted like? Victory.

Categories: India

4 replies

  1. Those sticky ball sweets have a name- they’re called moti chur laddoos. My daughter is climbing on the table using my shoulders as support, as i type. Byeee

  2. I have a question. You helped Eddie Love with the book the saints, sinners and Eddie. Why is his name Love and not Lovelace?

  3. You will find the answer in the book 😉

    • I read the book today after receiving it also today. I lived in Orange from 1970 to 1973. Eddie was my boyfriend at that time. His name was Edwin Tolliferro Lovelace IV.

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