Saturday, February 27, 2010

20,995 Miles Traveled

Feb 18, 2010
Mumbai, India
Smoggy, hot, humid

We arrived at Max Chinai’s Darya Mahal early in the morning, around three. After being shown to the guesthouse, Hareesh Chinai told us that his dad had been waiting up for us, and led us into a living room in the huge yellow mansion. Max and Hareesh both attended Hiram college, and they talked with us about what Hiram was like when they went to school, and what it is like now. At four-thirty, someone finally realized that we were barely awake, and we were sent to bed. Right before we were about to escape to bed, Hareesh mentioned, “Tea tomorrow at eight?”
David gasped. “Eight?! We couldn’t possibly.” Hareesh volunteered, nine, and David agreed. We all groaned internally. Four and a half hours later, we were back in the same living room, sipping cups of chai and eating biscuits, talking more about Hiram. Everything passed in a complete blur – it seemed like all of my waking hours were cloudy. We ate breakfast, then we went back to bed for several hours.
When we woke up, we ate an early dinner, and began celebrating “Spring Break 2010.” There is a hookah bar across the street, and we lounged for a few hours, then I came back to the guesthouse to lay around for a bit. At some point, John left and came back saying that a rabid dog had bitten him. Swaffie, who had been there for the event, assured everyone it was more of a warning gnaw and no skin had been broken. Then I went to bed again. I had horrible nightmares about rats crawling all over me, and I woke up trying to push them off. Even awake, as I lay in bed, I thought that I had pushed all of the rats onto the floor and tucked my knees up to avoid them. I tried to forget the hundreds of rodents that I believed were crawling around beneath me, but when I turned over I knocked the pillow off my bed. Gingerly, I reached down to grab my pillow, and as I drifted off to sleep again I knew for certain I would wake up infected with the hantavirus.

Note: I'm posting this in Tanzania where the internet is very slow, way too slow for pictures. Pictures may or may not come later.

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