I’m sure at some point in our lives, we’ve all complained about the “lack of privacy.”
However, what I am about to tell you might just blow any complaints that we have had in that regard out the window.
Lack of privacy in India reaches a WHOLE new level.
Yesterday morning was supposed to be a nice, quiet Sunday morning in the Whiting/Nichols/Huber household. We all slept in then sat down to a delicious looking breakfast of french toast, fresh mangos, and juice. Sundays are the day that we stay inside, usually in our pajamas most of the day, don’t have to put on saris, and can chill in the AC all day. A day of peace amidst all the crazy Indian lifestyles we encounter during the week!
We were about to start eating when there was a knock on the door. After a bit of grumbling, Sean answered to find two Indian men standing there. One explains (in pretty good English) that he is moving in above us and is putting in an AC.
No big deal, right?
Well, in India, it’s not like they have ladders. At least not that I have seen. What they do, instead, is take long sticks (seriously, like the trunk of a very small tree) and create some sort of scaffolding by sticking said sticks through windows and tying it all together with rope.
So, that was what the knock on the door was for. They needed use of the window in the office area of the main room and in Sean and Paige’s bedroom.
Next thing we know, these two men are just trapsing through the apartment, interrupting our quiet Sunday, with 6 or 7 foot long sticks. We have to move the desk out of the way as they maneuver this hunk of wood through the window and tie it (rather unsafely, if you ask me). Then they leave, and come back a few minutes later to do the same thing in Sean and Paige’s bedroom.
They assured us it would be a quick job, but it didn’t take us long to realize that our Sunday would NOT be free of multiple interruptions. The windows had to stay open as there was STICKS in them. The bedrooms are the only two rooms that have AC, so Sean and Paige couldn’t even sit in their room and enjoy their AC all day.
Also, there were multiple times that we would walk through and there would be a man in the window doing whatever he was doing out there.
We placed bets on how long it would take for this “very fast, no problem” job to be finished. Unfortunately, I won by making the latest guess of 3:00, though it was after 6:00 before they finally left with the sticks out of the window. (8 hours after they came in to put them in.)
This morning, there was another knock and we were told to keep the windows accessible, but they wouldn’t need in our apartment today.
At around 10:30, I walked out of our bedroom to get a drink and was quite startled because there was someone in the window, sticking a stick through the window into the apartment again. Surprise! I guess we should be thankful that they didn’t feel the need to come into the apartment again, but it was startling to come out and see him right there because I didn’t expect it.
I went into the kitchen and as I walked back through responded to a “Miss! Miss!” by going and moving things out of the way of the stick. A bit later I went to check on my laundry and again – “Miss! Miss!” – this time he wanted a glass of water.
India is a constant learning experience and full of adventures that would never happen in the states, that’s for sure! It’s funny to me that this man, who is actually inconveniencing us quite a bit, and who is doing the job for someone other than us, feels completely comfortable hollering through the window and asking for water. I know it’s not a huge deal and I easily got him some, but in America a contractor would never even ask the person he is working for for anything, let alone the neighbor!
Hope this has maybe provided YOU with a chuckle (since there isn’t a huge stick in your window for the second day in a row! :)) and a glimpse into the huge lack of privacy in India! I know these workers sure enjoyed a glimpse of life in the weird Americans’ house – they couldn’t keep their eyes out of here. *eye roll*
In other news, it’s going to be a crazy hectic and complicated week around here, especially for Paige, as she tries to make arrangements for school bags, uniforms, and shoes for all the CCH kids – hopefully by Friday so we can give them out on Saturday. With our recent loss of the vehicle and driver, that makes this a LOT more complicated than it would be if we had a driver and the car wasn’t undrivable. Please pray for peace for her and that all will fall into place quickly and easily (two words that are rarely associated with dealing with things like this in India), for the car to be fixed FAST (like today!!) and cheaply, and that we can find a new, good driver ASAP!
Sean and Paige’s first date was on the 4th of…some month. ;) Ever since then, like for the past four years, they have celebrated the 4th of EVERY single month by having pizza together! Courtney and I are pretty excited to be a part of this special tradition with them! It’s one of the goofy small things that we have both been excited about since we decided to come – pizza on the 4th with Sean and Paige (and the Fadely’s this time, too!) :)
The rest of the week is still up in the air until the driver/car situation is figured out (if this dude had just been driving slowly, it would have been a really easy way to keep alllll these problems from happening…) but will likely consist of more VBS’ almost every day, in addition to some Second Saturday planning one day and a day at the beach on Friday with the NTR Colony boys!
Today was INCREDIBLY hot. Like, maybe the hottest we’ve been out in yet. I felt like I was suffocating from the inside out! ;) I’ve never been so certain I was going to get sick from the heat. Luckily, we weren’t out for long. But please please please pray for cooler weather (and even rain!) for the rest of the week!
Have a good week!