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the ropes: I think I've mentioned it before, but it bears repeating: the simplest tasks take a monumental effort here in India. For example, we have a light fixture out and I need to pay an electricity bill that requires my Citibank account to be finalized. These should be easy tasks but unfortunately they are sucking time and energy from my soul. I just hope they don't turn the power off on us in the meantime!

But today was very positive. Susie & I both needed eye exams, having gone over 3 years since the last one. We found some locations online in the hip Indira Nagar, near our home where we do most of our shopping since it carries things Americans enjoy, including beef, non-crumbly (edible) bread, etc. We also learned ahead of time we don't need an appointment and the one store opens at 9:30, the other 10. So off at 9:30. We couldn't find the place so we called them. They hung up on us. So we had Sandeep our driver call them; they hung up on him. Sandeep informed us they didn't want our business.

So we went to the second store, which was an older store in a government building. The doctor was kind and efficient, but he measured our eyes without our glasses using the oldest methods possible and had no decent glasses to buy. So we paid him $6 for our eye exams (can you believe that?) and went searching for another store. Somehow Maggie gashed her leg there and didn't even notice until Sandeep said something, and then of course she went pale. The doctor gave us a band-aid and some white goo Sandeep says stops the bleeding. They were a kind shop but unfortunately we needed something more robust.

We found a new store in Indira Nagar within minutes that was able to measure my current perscription and had a wider selection. My eyes have hardly changed (slightly better) and Susie's eyes are now monumentally better. She'll be 20/40 within a year! We also picked out glasses and had them high-level scan our eyes with their new-fangled machinery and, what do you know, the old fashioned way still works! The prescriptions came out about the same.

We both got new glasses for just over $300, without insurance, including the eye exams, which is way cheaper than what we pay back home. My glasses are way expensive because I need the lenses thinned from the coke-bottle look I would otherwise tout. Susie will got back for sunglasses later, and I don't have to since my sunglasses are in good shape still and my perscription is still the same. We both ended up with black glasses with a yellow highlight, mine more subtle that Susie's. We're excited to get them next week!

We also went back to Hyper City and bought a mixer for Susie to make whipped cream with and Maggie's BD present. We found the perfect gift and both realized we better get it now, since Indian karma may leave us unable to find it again in the future. She'll be so excited! We also bought more towels, bedsheets, rugs, etc and some American food as well. Surprisingly, we spent less there than the last time.

I looked in the meat locker there, and they had a skinned rabbit, still very much intact otherwise, in a ziplock for sale. I have never seen rabbit here. They had no meat. We asked Sandeep about meat here and he confirmed my suspicion that killing cows is illegal in Karnataka (our state) but legal in others so our meat is imported, which Susie couldn't believe since it seems so fresh to her. We learn new stuff every day here.

The kids always get a Cadbury chocolate at the store. For 13 rupees (27 cents) they get a chocolate with a Disney character and on plus a sticker. They like them and are the perfect snack size. Well, off to play Handy Manny with Maggie.


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