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Did I mention that I live in India?: It's been too long of a week. But it's over, and I survived. I believe the worst of busy season to be over, because some of the largest engagements are now done. It's a relief.

Today I finally hit Commercial Street, where the locals go to buy all things Indian. I bought some traditional clothing, which you can view on our picture blog. I also bought a matching turban, or crown, as Maggie calls it. It's a nice outfit, though more expensive than I thought it would be. I'm sure I could have gotten something cheaper somewhere else, but I like the color I got, and it will be a nice Halloween costume for years to come! It seems only women get to be colorful here and men are forced to wear either Western or drab browns. This Monday is India's new years festival, and I'm supposed to dress up. While I like the outfit, it's actually really hot and not near as comfortable as you would think since it looks the pajamas. The drawstring on the pants doesn't feel very secure either. As such, I probably don't want to work in the outfit.

After being here for 4 months, it was nice to finally be a tourist and tout the wares of Commercial Street. A lot of people have criticized the place to me (it's crowded, cars will hit you, sales people are pushy, etc) so I had low expectations but it's actually a nice market. It wasn't that crowded, we're used to the cars, and we have learned how to tell the sales people to pound sand when they get like that. I enjoyed it there, but since it's just shopping, I probably won't be going again until right before we leave to buy stuff.

After shopping we hit a French restaurant for lunch at UB City run by an actual Frenchmen! We split a salad and a caprese panini sandwich and it was only $10! My salad had ham, celery, cherry tomatoes, all things we have never found here, and it was still cheap! Just getting good lettuce is hard here. It was a great lunch. After lunch we hurried home so our driver could go home and watch the cricket final.

This week is also cricket week. India beat Pakistan last week and is currently playing Sri Lanka in the 4-yearly cricket cup for the ultimate winner. I guess India has not been a contender for quite some time so this is a big deal to everyone here. It's been fun, though distracting at work, to watch the games. I still find cricket to be dreadfully dull though, and way too long. Matches can last over 8 hours. We always know when India wins if we are awaken by fireworks sometime in the night.

This week on the Amazing Race the teams were in Calcutta, which is very far from Bangalore, but still India. The streets seemed cleaner than here, but that doesn't mean they are. The traffic seemed as bad though I saw only one auto rickshaw on the show and they are everywhere here. I think the tea scene with the last team shows why India can be such a great place. People are willing to connect and support other people. It was interesting to note how all the teams wanted to leave China when my experience is that India is probably worse for an American overall. But I think the biggest difference is that the people really are nicer here. Again, just my experience.

Sometimes I have time to pause and remind myself that "I LIVE IN INDIA!!!" as opposed to my normal "i live in india" attitude because, really it is pretty cool here.

week in review: 1. I'm sick of that sweet with the pista, fig, and silver in it. I want something new. Luckily, my coworkers love it so I pawned it off on them.

2. We still have church tomorrow and I guess we watch conference the following week.

3. I'm back into working out mode and loving it! I always cool down with two laps around the compound and try and think about India and how cool it is. With my commute being across the street only, I need to remind myself how cool it is I'm in India, even if I live in the burbs of India.

4. Having free cable here reminds me why I don't pay for it at home. It's just more channels with nothing on.

5. I constantly defend India to my expat coworkers. They were criticizing child brides and I gently reminded them this happens in the US too, Warren Jeffs anyone? Also they were criticizing the seedy underbelly of India and I reminded them the US has a seedy underbelly. I should know; I've spent significant time at the EY office in downtown LA across the street from skid row. They told me dancing is illegal here because when someone tried to open a strip club in India they simply outlawed dancing rather than the strip club. I wonder if this is true. Good and bad happen everywhere.

6. One criticism deserved is the gender gap. My Indian coworker had to work from home last week to take care of her FIL. I asked her why her husband didn't take care of him since it's busy season and it's his own father anyway but she just sighed at me. She's lived in the US but gently reminded me it's different here.

7. We hit the body shop today to buy cologne (way cheap here) and some quality lotion. My feet are happy now.

8. I left work 3 days this week 90 minutes after I said I would leave. I feel bad leaving when everyone is still working hard. Friday night I finally told somebody no that I was leaving and then saw her helping someone else so I stayed and helped her out. It felt good to do so, mostly because I knew I wasn't working today so that was it until Monday. It's hard managing 140 people.

9. I bought a Nike shirt with the India flag on it. India's colors are the same as my high school, orange, white, and green.

10. I've been a lot more patient with Dalton lately and feel like the difference is noticeable. He's more calm and loves to snuggle and watch Mickey Mouse with me. He also loves to color and go for walks in the stroller. He's definitely not a baby anymore and is outgrowing the crib we brought with us.


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