Yesterday was Emerson's first day at work. We had breakfast with him, and then we saw him go.
We ventured ourselves into the streets of Chennai... I want to be as much respectful as I can, but they suck. This is just chaos. I never thought I would say this, but Mexican streets are awesome, and Mexican drivers are very civilized people. Very civilized. Most of them, anyway.
So we got to walk for a long time. Saw some OBGYN and Pediatrics office. Libby wanted some balloons, to which I said no. They were decorations from the place, but a gentlemen went out of his way to gave them some. Literally cut their decorations to please my children. That humbles you.
|Posing with balloons. |
Popped them later as they were a hazard to hold my children's hands
I had a filtered coffee on the street, and the children got two cookies. Emerson gave me some money. It was 14 rupees for our snacks, and when I took the bill out, I only had 500 bills. I felt so stupid. I apologized, but thankfully the gentleman had change. Then we rode a rickshaw. They call them auto-auto. Scary ride, but made it safe to the hotel. I enjoy doing those things with my children, walking and exploring. I don't know how much of this they will remember, but this blog is exactly for those things.
The auto charged me 40 rupees (60 cents of a dollar). I asked at the hotel, and they said people were very honest with me, and I was glad. Thankful that even in those little details God is taking care of us. And it's dirt cheap, but it's not about that. I don't want to be taken advantage of, even if I can pay 100 rupees or more for a taxi to drive me less than half a mile. And today they charged me 30 ;)
People are warm. They stare a lot, they look at us up and down, and most of them smile. They touch my children a lot and kiss their own hands afterwards. At reception they explain to me it was an ancient way to bless my children. I don't freak out, I just don't know what to do. They told me to just smile, and say thank you. Nanri. It's the only thing I know how to say in Tamil.
|Filtered coffee stand|
|Cookie for 3 cents|
|Sweet sweet coffee for 15 cents|
I tried to learn some phrases, but it is difficult to pronounce, and most of the time I'm more worried about not getting hit by cars, that I don't care about speaking Tamil right now. Sidewalks are very, very narrow. We are not in danger, it is just new and weird. I am really happy I am here. I know God is going to us in some way, I just don't know how yet, or when. I know He has a plan, so I'm not even saying if He will use us. I just want to know when.
Patience, my love. Patience.
There is a Turkish lady called Didhem who lives in the room in front of us. His son Nihar is celebrating his 2nd birthday this Thursday, and we've been invited to the Madras Club. Very chic place, as they won't let you become a member if you are not recommended by another member. They ask me about my husband, and how long will we be staying here. What the heck? What if I'm divorced?
|Lunch at New Town Coffee House|
I'm getting to read about this culture, and Indian parenting, and just looking around... I don't think my children are behaving badly, actually they have improved a lot during the last couple of days. But I'm noticing that when they are really great, people are pleased. Like there are a lot of expectations Indian people have from their children. It's a very strict environment.
I read an article written by an Indian girl who said parents expect success. Worldly success. Good grades, a job, make a lot of money. Make it out of India. Be proud of your parents who worked so hard so you would become who you are. At the same time, the newspaper says there are lot of deaths on the roads because parents gave into pestering children who wanted a motorcycle. I think all cultures struggle with he same issues. No matter how strict they may pretend to be, a child has a will of his own. Everybody sins. Everybody lies by nature. Everybody has had bad thoughts. What might be a "really good child" might be just faking it to please the parents, and keep appearances. I grew up like that. I don't like that.
|Lunch at Cream Centre|
There is no PDA's allowed between couples. Not that I knew that, I just found out. It's a very respectful interaction between men-women/women-women. I just want to know where is the heart. I guess I have lots of time to find out. I guess what I'm trying to say is that most of the time I feel bad about myself for not fitting in places. I didn't fit at my first MOPS meeting, where moms looked like freaking models. So fake that a woman with an infant would cook on high heels. I obviously don't fit here, either. I look different. I dress differently. Will wok on wardrobe, though, because my shirts end up soaking wet after a thirty minute walk outside.
But most people are kind, no matter what.
PDA- Michael Scott
A gentleman stopped the cars today so that I could cross with my children. We all held hands. Other guy approached me because I looked lost looking for the school for Libby. I wasn't lost, by the way. He even offered me a ride, but I passed. They have their own version of English, which is funny, but even word by word sometimes we get each other. Today Libby and Enzo were kissed and touched by a group of ladies, men and children. I had no idea what they said to me. They were talking to me like I would understand. I said English, English. To which they said, No English. All of us looked disappointed.
They knew bye at least. But what I'm trying to say is that I don't want to hide. I'm happy for who I am. This is who God made me to be, I don't want to change to fit, or to make people happy here.
Slides @ Cream Centre
I kneel with my children on the streets because they ask me questions (Libby). I kiss them, and people see us, and they smile. I haven't been in contact with a lot of Indian women with children, so maybe I don't know what I'm talking about. Will see on BSF. But I don't want worldly success for my children. They are very smart to have it, they will have it if that's my goal.
I want God's wisdom for them. I want them to follow my God by choice, not because I imposed Him to them.
I want them to love each other, I want them to feel free to explore within boundaries. I want them to know a C+ is fine if that was their very best. I don't want them to kill themselves over an F. I want them to know they are loved and accepted. I want them to know that the God of the universe, the only Creator made them beautiful. They don't have to adorn themselves. They don't have to pretend to be something or someone they are not. I want them to be authentic and not fake good behavior.
I teach them right from wrong, but at the end it is their choice. There are consequences for every choice, even if the consequence doesn't come right away. I want them to choose right because they want to. I don't want them to fear me. I want them to trust me.
I want them to see God and His saving love and grace in their parents. And somehow I want to project that to Chennai's people while living here.
Please pray for that when you think about us :)
|This is how we nap lately|