Quilts and Other Stuff from Frances

Checking out the neighborhood…..

By Friday, I had been in the apartment for long enough and, since Michael had the morning off, we decided to go out to explore the neighborhood and do some shopping. I had used Google maps to figure out where a local store (called “The More Store”) was, or so I thought!!!! Fortunately we stopped at the front gate to make sure we were headed in the right way. They said “No,No there is not a More Store anywhere near”, but the head guard drew a map to get us to a “Reliance Fresh” store.

He told us to walk to the circle and turn right, walk to the next circle and turn left and then to find the store on our right, about ¼ of a mile down.

Our first concern was that we KNEW there were no circles, at least not the kind that we have at home. We finally figured out that he simply meant the intersection where two streets cross each other without a stop light. As we were being driven later, we realized that most people do use these intersections like a circle rather than one way having the right-of-way and the other having to stop and wait.

We followed his instructions and soon found the desired store. It was not as big as a “More” store, but was much more like a local shop. We actually liked it better and I know that the workers were amused by our shopping style. We left with two bags of goodies, including eggs and cheese to make omelets and sandwiches in our apartment. We also bought lots of fruit, but always picked items that could be peeled so that we were never eating the outsides of the fruit.

We kept stopping along the way and looking to see what types of shops were around. We had passed one car parked along the street and a woman stepped out and said the we looked confused and asked if we needed help.  We assured her that we were just walking and looking around and that we often looked confused!!  She laughed and went on her way.…..it was SO nice!!!

As is usual for India, we passed several cows roaming the streets….DSC05357


We returned to the apartment, unloaded our wares and headed out again to try another direction. We ended up in an area that was more residential and filled with small shops. That is when the shopping disaster struck….well not really…… we saw a small store that sold all sorts of kitchen stuff and we went in for a look. We had planned to purchase some of the steel plates that they use here but ended up with a very kind, but gently insistent clerk, who sold us a LOT more than a few plates!!!…..DSC05361

OK, so we have already started filling an extra suitcase and it is only the 5th day of our trip!!!

We took the shuttle to campus and met up with some of the students for lunch. They opted to skip the main cafeteria and instead visit the South Indian food stand….DSC05368

Once again we had very spicy but very flavorful food. As we moved down the cafeteria line, the workers kept handing me items and saying that I needed it for my meal. The result was a LOT of food!!….DSC05362

This green dish concerned me a bit, but it turned out to be potatoes that were WONDERFUL.

The small orange dish…..

DSC05364….. was a paste that had Sultanas and was sweet and a great end to the meal.

They were also making Dosa (a pancake like dish that is used to sop up wonderful sauces…..DSC05367

We were picked up by a car at 3:00pm and taken to the Indian Institute of Science where Michael gave a talk to a large group of students and colleagues. As a matter of fact, I am sitting at the back of the room right now as he answers questions!! I had planned to walk around the campus while he was speaking, but it looked like rain so I opted to stay here instead. As I listen to the thunder and pouring rain outside I am certain that I made the correct choice!!!

After the talk, I spent a while talking to one of the students, Bella, and enjoyed hearing about her life.  Michael spent the time talking with some of the students in Praveen’s lab.  But, the highlight of his afternoon was getting to hold a Blind Snake…..DSC05372

Apparently he has wanted to see one for years but they normally only are found in the tropics of Asia and India.   It looks much like a big worm and is often called a “Worm Snake”.  It was a fun snake to hold but amazingly strong!!

We finally met our driver and he took us back to Mandara and to our apartment.  Our friend Paul Arnold, who had hosted us when we were here back in 2008, picked us up and we found a coffee shop and visited for a little bit.

We ended the night by watching a Midsomer Murder DVD that we had brought with us.  Thus ended our first fun Friday!!!

One thought on “Checking out the neighborhood…..

  1. Whoa- look at that haul of steel kitchenware! Love the stuff. So shiny :)That orange paste dessert is called “sheera”- made on the stove top with cream of wheat/semolina, milk and sugar.

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