An Indian Homestay Experience

You know that scene in Cinderella when goes to wake her stepsisters and they have the vaulted ceiling rooms and she has to go clear across to room to draw open the ginormous drapes covering the windows? Ok, the guys have no clue what I’m talking about but I know at Leslie knows what I’m talking about. Well for a few days, my life sort of resembled this, but I wasn’t Cinderella.

Far from how I ever imagined my first few days in India would be. Lucky for me Hema offered her beautiful home for my stay as I got adjusted to life in India. Unfortunately I am fully aware my life will not be remotely like this once I leave this oasis.

My days usually involved a slow morning wake up. As soon as I was physically up and opened the door one of the maids would come in to draw open the large curtains in the room I was in, remove my bedding and replace it with a day bedding set (I imagine to keep dust off), and asked me what I would like to breakfast while serving me tea. Hema was usually away at work by this time so I would have breakfast at a long glass table alone. I kind of felt like I was in an episode of Downton Abbey…I’m not even sure if I’ve ever received such good treatment at a hotel! Lunch would also be prepared for me if I was around (which I usually was…who can resist homemade Indian food?) and again I would eat alone at the table. I invited the maids to eat with me but they insisted they would be eating after. Sigh.

As amazing as the service was and I greatly appreciated the hospitality, I felt rather uncomfortable with it for a while. Which is funny considering i came to India expecting to have to get used to being uncomfortable around situations of poverty. Here I am just uncomfortable with upper class living.

After I felt slightly adjusted to the lifestyle, I realized I should use it as an opportunity to learn how to make some proper Indian food. There was a bit of a language barrier but I think I got most of the ingredients listed…the two maids who are sisters are the most adorably sweet women. They are usually always smiling and so helpful. We giggled over the exchange of Hindi words for English words and pictures of our families. But it was awonderfully long morning/afternoon of cooking.

As I look forward to my next destination, I still have reservations abut my safety in India. Not to sound like a weenie but when every local you befriend warns you about your safety wherever you are going, it’s hard not to be! Lucky for me I have Tina. And with her karate and my tae kwon do skills, we’re probably a little better off than most women. We can do it!

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