Tuesday, May 20, 2008
Now we know where we live! (Pictures 2 of 3)
At Pothy's Dept. Store in T. Nagar, the shopping district in town. These pretty ladies stood at the entrance, and would either smile or give a little bow if you caught their eyes. They look somewhat like the brides I've seen pictures of--all decked out in their jewels and pretty saris. I wondered what kind of job it would be to get all dressed up and stand at the entrance of a store all day--basically functioning as a live mannequin. These ladies got pretty excited when our girls talked to them. Heidi's wearing one of her chudy-das and some bangles in this photo, and was convinced she looked, "just like an Indian."
These are some of the white swirly designs we see marked on the sidewalk in front of some of the houses and businesses here in Chennai. From what I understand, the woman in the house will make these designs fresh every morning as a sort of good luck charm (?). Traditionally, these markings were made using rice powder (to feed the sparrows and ants), but nowadays it's common to use a synthetic chemical spray.
This is our most common view of Mani, our driver. I think Lily took this picture, so this is her angle of Mani. I don't know if you can tell from this picture that the steering wheel is on the right side of the car. They drive on the left side of the street here (sort of--if there's more room on the right side, then they drive over on that side instead!). I wish you could hear the incessant "beep, beep, beep," while you look at this picture, and see the cars and auto-rickshaws driving within inches of our car, and feel Mani swerving all over the road to get to our destination.
Erin in her favorite chudy-da, with jasmine flowers in her hair. I had thought that these jasmine flowers were plentiful all the time, but Mani explained to us that jasmine flowers will become more and more expensive, as they are "in season" now, but in another couple of weeks they'll be harder to get and more expensive. I guess that's one advantage we've had from coming to Chennai in the hottest part of the year--jasmine flowers have been very cheap and very plentiful!
The girls knew that I have been disappointed about not being able to find any classical Indian dance performances here, so they surprised me by getting all dressed up in their Indian outfits and performing a lovely "Indian" dance for Mama.