Stuff I Talk About

by Christina Ledbetter

This and That

What We’re Going to Do

As I soak in my last few days in Houston before heading back to India, I’ve found myself worrying. I’m not worried about the next few weeks or even the next couple of months. Instead, I’m worried about what’s just beyond that. December, January, February . . . Tonight, I sat on my balcony swing, which I’ve been perched upon every day no matter the heat, reading words from John. […]

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Yesterday I felt like a prairie woman in a bonnet waving goodbye to her husband who was setting off in his wagon to tame a wild frontier and secure land, shelter, vittles. But really I was just standing in my driveway waving goodbye to Benson who was setting off in an Uber to travel to Mumbai and secure the keys to our Indian apartment, a mattress, bank account, local phone, […]

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Daily Bread

At a corner roadside stand a few blocks from where we’ll live, an old plastic pitcher of . . . maybe water? maybe juice? . . . sits on the makeshift counter, open to anyone who needs a drink during the trek home from work. I watched from my seat in the open-air rickshaw various walkers stop, pour liquid into their open mouths, replace the pitcher and continue walking. Nobody […]

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The Scam

Voodo leck a caddy bag? That’s what it sounds like. But say it so quickly. Would you like a carry bag? No, I would not like a carry bag, thank you. I brought my own. Then I proudly display my cloth bag, because I, ladies and gentlemen, have lived in Mumbai, India for three weeks and three days now, and I’ve learned some things. One of which is to always […]

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Mumbai Apartment Hunting, Day 1

We saw some winners and losers, folks. First of all, we met with an apartment locator with a name that sounded like Huevo but wasn’t Huevo (which was learned once he spelled it for us and I realized I was way off and was glad I hadn’t informed him that his name meant egg in Spanish), plus two other men, one in slacks and one carrying a motorcycle helmet. The […]

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Opposite Land

Continuing life in the land of opposites. Bamboo scaffolding climbing up the walls of rickety buildings; a persistent goat nudging his mom’s udders at the bus stop; a woman covered head to toe in black, guiding a blind elderly man clad in a white tunic across the dirt paths of their slum; three boys running over an expanse of rubble with a kite. Friday night we celebrated two weeks of […]

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Old and New

The city is growing on us. Barefoot rickshaw drivers; green parrots; the grandmother-made, sesame-seed-laden sweets Benson’s co-workers deliver to his desk wrapped in tissue. Despite these charms, this place won’t be easy. We’re learning that it will take work to actually live here. Work to purify the air indoors so we don’t breathe in too much of the pollution, work to dehumidify the apartment in monsoon season to keep our […]

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