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[Comments] (2) i will always love you: Saturday we hit Brigade Road. I'm trying to find a white short-sleeved shirt I can wear to church like I did on my mission. There is no A/C anywhere near the piano in Sacrament and the windows are right on me. Plus Dalton is now attending Nursery and they never turn the A/C on in there either.

I didn't find a shirt, but I found some killer pants I've been looking for since we got here. I guess they are male capris? But they are cotton, not khaki, totally light weight, and were $5. Also, they say they are from Old Navy, but I think some chop shop sewed an illegal label on them. There is no other identifying tag on the inside of the pants.

I also bought a Ganesh stone statue. Supposedly we will have good luck in our home now. I just bought a little one out of Tiger Eye stone. It was a chore to haggle for. Brigade Road also has people selling maps of India. I wanted one to hang on our wall. The guy wanted 800 rupees, or $20, for it. For a map printed on paper! I told hime I'd pay 250 rupees, or $6. He waited outside a store we went into to buy pineapple juice. He was persistent but wouldn't go lower than 450 rupees. I really didn't want the map that badly. But he followed us to our car, so I asked Sandeep our driver how much. He agreed that 250 rupees was a good price and yelled at the guy until we agreed to 300 rupees. Sandeep still refused the map until we finally got it for 250 rupees. By this point we were all in the car and it was raining on the poor kid. But we got the map.

I'm ok to pay a small premium for things, I understand life is hard for people here. But $20 for a map? I was touched that Sandeep would go to bat and side with us over his fellow countryman like that. It was a total Whitney Houston/Kevin Costner moment. I think. I've never actually seen that movie. Sandeep knows we can pay whatever here, but I know he feels bad when we get ripped off too.

He wanted today off to attend the spreading of ashes in a river in Mysore of a friend who was crossing the street and killed by a two-wheeler. It's semi-common here. So once again it was haggling to get to church. There is an auto guy here every Sunday that charges us a set fee of 100 rupees to go to church. Coming home is harder. But today we found someone for 60 rupees. I had no change so I game him 100. I'm used to paying it and I appreciated his honesty.

Today was also a member's last day before he goes to the MTC in Manilla. I gave him 1,000 rupees. He seemed shocked. I told him in the US it is quite customary to give gifts to missionaries to help defray the costs of all those white shirts and ties. Not sure if that is a custom here, or maybe my denomination was too large. But the only other bill I had was the 100 rupee note to get us home. Change is a precious commodity in India. Only McDonald's ever seems to have it. The future missionary attended my music lessons and will probably be the only missionary the branch has while we are here. Maybe I should have asked him where to get a white short-sleeved shirt.

Back to the map. It's not like I'll hang it in our home in UT. But I thought the kids may find utility in it one day. Normally all my souvenir shopping needs and picture-taking needs revolve around impending 6th grade geography assignments. I'm always thinking of things Maggie and Dalton can take to school to show off. I always chose Sweden for such projects since my aunt is from there. How neat will it be for Maggie and Dalton to have a deeper connection for such projects? Of course it will be just my luck they will cancel such assignments by the time they get to 6th grade. I guess there is always show and tell. I guess I'm more of a parent than a tourist.


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