Thursday, January 15, 2009
The sights and sounds of Mumbai
OK, so you all will just have to forgive the bad formatting on this one, because I have never posted pics on the blog yet and am too tired to try to figure out how to make it look better. The first picture is of Josiah with his Ammachi and Minie Aunty helping to sift wheat kernels out on the balcony. The second is of the daring Mumbai fire brigade who just finished rescuing a pigeon suspended in midair by kite string right outside our window. OK, that one needs a little further explanation. There is an annual kite flying festival going on and often birds get caught up and injured in the kite line. There was even an article in the paper about a man who received a deep cut on his neck from a kite string while riding his motorcycle. To make it even more dangerous for birds and people there is manja (kite string) that has crushed glass glued to it for use in kite wars. The intended purpose of this 'glass string' is to cut loose other kites during kite wars. And the third picture is of our sweet Lydia sleeping soundly in her suitcase bassinet.
Things are going well here outside of the Josiah sleeping/eating struggles. We try to get out at least once or twice a day and Josiah is starting to get comfortable with some of the guards. The noise level here is amazing, but I have already gotten used to it and just tune it out as background noise. The kids have even gotten used to sleeping through it. The neatest thing is waking up early in the morning (OK the waking up part is not all that fun) and hearing almost total silence. Then slowly, slowly, slowly the sounds start. First it is just the occasional rickshaw or lorry truck delivering goods, then more rickshaws join in the chorus. Along with all these vehicles (bikes, cars, taxis, rickshaws, buses, trucks, tractors) comes their engine noise, bells, and horns. Horn use here is completely unlike horn use in the States. Back home, the horn is generally used to say "hey you idiot, the light is green or you almost ran me over". Over here there is constant honking, essentially saying "hey man, here I come or I am about ready to pass you". Then a little after six you can hear the Muslim call to prayer over the mosque's loud speaker. The chorus quickly builds as shops open and people go about their daily business. Right now it is 10:40pm and I don't expect the noise level to fall until at least midnight, but that is not going to stop me from going to sleep!!