ತುಂಬಾ ಇಷ್ಟ

Million Dollar Arm came out right before we moved to India. It’s probably not in theaters anymore, but you should rent it when it comes out! The basic premise is that an athletic recruiter is in desperate need of a client. He decides, basically on a whim, to chance the future of his career on two young Indian men who can pitch really fast. While he’s in India, he Skypes with a woman back in the States a few times. One night she asks him if it smells bad outside. His response is a perfect description of India: “India is a study in extremes.”

August felt like a study in extremes for us. I [Emily] hit a pretty deep low and had to really trust we had made the right decision in moving here. Many things didn’t go well, but at the same time many things were wonderfully beautiful. A study in extremes.

You’re probably wondering when I’m going to tell you what the Kannada script in the title of this post is. It’s our favorite phrase in Kannada. You pronounce it like – “tumbā iṣṭa”. “tumbā” means “too much”. “iṣṭa”means to like. Together it means that you like something too much (or a lot). 

In order to fill you in a bit on our “study in extremes” from the past month, we thought we’d share with you some things we tumbā iṣṭa.

Story Cafe

photo 1

While we really enjoy the coffee and reliable Internet at Starbucks, it’s quite a hike to the nearest location (probably about 20-30 minutes away). This past weekend we were told about an amazing cafe that’s in our neighborhood! It’s called Story Cafe. It’s run by East Asians who are so friendly to us. They have yummy coffee drinks (with the best whipped cream on top!), some of the best lemonade I’ve ever had in my life and fun chairs to sit in! It’s been a peaceful place for Adam and I come to when we want to get out of the house to work on language for a bit.

photo 2

Being more independently mobile

IMG_6875

We have started driving a scooter! It was a little terrifying at first, but Adam has really become a good scooter driver in India! I’m getting there. I’m less of an “aggressive” driver which you need to be here. 🙂 What’s different about driving here? They drive on the left side of the road (Long live the Queen!). There are tons of speed bumps which we actually like because it slows people down. Honking here is a courtesy to say you’re coming up behind someone. Traffic is almost always bad, except in the middle of the night. If there are markings for lanes, they ignore them. It’s very fluid moving traffic! To be able to hop on the scooter and go somewhere ourself has been a huge blessing!

We also really like to drive to a nearby Metro station and ride the Metro to the downtown area of our city. There’s a Starbucks in walking distance along with a lot of great restaurants from the station. We feel like such city people with our Metro cards!

Our house

We live in a HUGE house! Nothing in our house is small. We have a walk-in pantry and closet. Our bathroom would be an adequate size for a bedroom. Our bedroom is almost the size of our apartment in Waco. It’s HUGE! 

But rather than describing it to you, we thought we’d welcome you in to our house with a little video. We hope you enjoy it!

Discovering the city

You don’t have to walk far from our house to see how true the athletic recruiter in Million Dollar Arm was when he said that India is a study in extremes. Our city is full of diversity in so many forms – religious, ethnicity, socioeconomic standing, color, and the list could keep going. But I know what you all want to see…pictures! We went out one afternoon and decided to be tourist in our own city. Here are some pictures we took around town. 

We've learned out to say "meter only" so rickshaw drivers will give us a fair price. Meter starts at 25 rupees (about $.41).
We’ve learned how to say “meter only” so rickshaw drivers will give us a fair price. Meter starts at 25 rupees (about $.41).
A typical view from the back seat of a rickshaw.
A typical view from the back seat of a rickshaw.
Our metro  (I found out later that taking pictures is against the rules...oh well!)
Our metro
(I found out later that taking pictures is against the rules…oh well!)
Indians are amazingly loyal friends. It's one of our favorite parts of this culture!
Indians are amazingly loyal friends. It’s one of our favorite parts of this culture!
It's normal to find roasted corn on the cob on the side of the streets. We haven't tried it because it's pretty normal for a Westerner to get sick eating street food. :(
It’s normal to find roasted corn on the cob on the side of the streets. We haven’t tried it because it’s pretty normal for a Westerner to get sick eating street food. 😦
They got pretty excited when they realized I was taking their picture!
They got pretty excited when they realized I was taking their picture!
Diversity abounds!
Diversity abounds!
And sometimes you just have to laugh!
And sometimes you just have to laugh!

*For transparency sake I have to mention that there were many things we really did not like this past month. I mentioned earlier that it was a particularly difficult month for me [Emily]. It’s not all glorious and wonderful. There are hard days. There were days when I just wanted to hear someone speak in an American accent. We both really wanted Bush’s chicken one evening. I missed my family and our friends back in Texas terribly this past month. To be completely honest, I didn’t enjoy India for the majority of this month. That’s changing and I’m growing. But it doesn’t take away from the beautiful things that happened this month. It actually makes them even more beautiful!

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